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Sunday, April 19, 2015

From Job's Lane to Target

I graduated from high school in 1971. Growing up in Riverhead, on the east
 end of Long Island, Southampton was a mere 20 miles away. Jobs Lane was my favorite place to window shop in my entire world back then, and Lilly Pulitzer was a biggie. There was a bus from Riverhead to Southampton's Main Street, and yes, there were days when I skipped school, just to window shop there. Part of the reason I like the show REVENGE so much is there are glimpses of Southampton town every so often (though those panoramic shots are NOT Southampton!) A lunch at Silva's with a fashion magazine was so much more interesting than school!
The 60s changed fashion forever. Screaming fights with my mother who wanted me to wear my sister's hand-me-down pleated plaid calf length skirts and round collared blouses with circle pins.
I don't think so!
The skirts were ripped apart and resewn and shortened til my father had fits.
Saks Fifth Avenue, Zoom, Paraphernalia. I'm embarassed to admit that I don't remember all of the names. It was definitely pre Ralph Lauren. Lilly Pulitzer was what the rich women wore, those prints totally recognizable. I was fascinated by the recognition factor.....
We didn't have cell phones back then, so there are no selfies of my hippy dippy self mugging it with friends and the statues outside the Parrish Art Museum.

 I was definitely a townie, but I sure could enjoy the Hamptons. My boyfriend at the time was from Southampton and he and his friends would drive down Jobs Lane taking turns mooning the horrified tourists from the back seat windows.
I live near a different part of the Atlantic Ocean now, but I can still get moved by a pair of Lilly Pulitzer flip flops! There's a Target up in Topsham- I may have to go check them out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News  won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Today, having just finished it again, it wins my heart's prize.
I don't have photos of Newfoundland, where most of the story takes place, but after this past winter, I feel like I've experienced the isolation and wearing weather that surely Proulx's characters experienced. A while ago, I culled my book collection, and since my kindle was stolen in December, I have been working through the hard copies that I kept, for reasons often forgotten.
I've watched the movie made from it, and while I enjoyed it, it doesn't have any of the laugh-out-loud humor of the book. Because, after all, what can you do but laugh when Life blows you around like a sea wind?
Mixed with excerpts from The Ashley Book of Knots, the story of Quoyle is one of redemption, moving from lost soul with not a clue to understanding at least a bit about life, and love....

"On the stairs an image came to him. Was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? Some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. And among the common bull's-eyes and peppermints a few rare ones; one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought calm and gentle pleasure. Were his fingers closing on that one?"
from The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx

" I know not how I sink or swim" these days. No wings to fly, but where there's Life, there's Hope, right? I have to believe that Summer will come again.
Headline: Deadly Storm Takes House; Leaves Excellent View

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sand Mix

# 0972 of Red Heart's Creme de la Creme is actually called Sandy Print, but it made me get out of the house and go sit on the beach for a bit.
was the view from my driftwood log seat, Georgetown across the water.
It was a day for dogs, and people on the beach....
complete with motorized cars.
I was more interested in what the sea would tell me than in dealing with people or their pets, so I didn't stay too long,
but still grateful to be reminded by the great Atlantic that, even after this long, devastating Winter, the world consists of more than my work and the voices in my head.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Life's a Beach-Winter Version

I'll admit, I've been wondering...what does Popham Beach look like after all this snow?
                                                     A seriously reduced parking lot
                                                 The path towards the beach had greeters.

You want to believe it was COLD! The sun did a meltover on the snow yesterday that made walking on the pathways treacherous today for this old lady, so I didn't spend all that much time there. Just enough to remind myself how beautiful the beach is, and that getting dressed for the cold is  mandatory in this part of the world.
        As always, there were lots of loose ends waiting for me back at the warm house!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The NEW Long Winter

Let me explain the title of today's blog.
I spent 15 years on a dairy farm in Maine. To say that there were many cold days on the farm would be a major understatement. There were many cold days that translated into frozen pipes that broke and needed repairing and there was also the neighbor's airstrip that was lined up so that when the north wind blew down that runway, it ended up pushing the smoke back down the chimney in our primarily heated-by-wood house. To say that life on the farm was insane and that it was very much the stuff of fiction would be absolutely true. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes just dealing with everyday crises makes one not look at the big picture. The big crazy, totally insane picture.
This Winter has been a little bit like that. If my kindle hadn't been stolen the beginning of December, I'd be reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter off of it. This is something that I would  read nearly every year at the farm, very much a tradition, reading it to the kids, to remind us that other people had it worse once. I've since continued that tradition by myself all these years, just to remember. The winters that I lived in the midwest, I finally understood the scene where the children are leaving the schoolhouse and trying to find their way home in a blizzard. The only thing that saves them from wandering out to their deaths on the prairie was that someone serendipitously opened a door in town and the light shown out from it, guiding them in the right direction. I remember taking Mags out to pee in Berne, hanging onto the porch railings so I wouldn't get lost in the yard. The across the street neighbor opened their front door, and I suddenly understood that scene as never before.. Wandering around in the snow in the midwest isn't really all that bright an idea, even in town. I was glad I'd hung on to the porch and kept Mags leashed. Too much flat land there for snow to blow across, and swallow one forever.
I think, of necessity, I have evolved. and finally found the adult version of The Long Winter, in Bill Roorbach's  The Remedy for Love.
Please don't misunderstand me- this is not for kids and isn't written in Little House on the Prairie style. The language is comfortably adult and real for this person who speaks sailor fluently, and though it might seem like a strange situation, maybe too fictional for some, to me it rang as true and as pure as the driven snow.
Shit happens in the winters up here.
It's billed as a romantic thriller Don't let that fool you. True Lies this ain't. 
It is as thrilling as romance gets, however, with a constantly intense interchange between the hero and heroine of the story, both abandoned by love, and trying to stay alive during the "Storm of the Century". This is about as up close and personal between two lonely people as it gets.
Adding to the thrill of this book for me was attempting to piece together who the characters might have been in real life as inspiration, having spent 18+ years off and on in the area from whence Mr Roorbach writes. Which small town lawyer was his inspiration? Who was the tow truck driver?- that sort of thing, and knowing the check out line at Hannaford personally made it very easy to imagine this piece of fiction as very real.
Thoreau has a role in this romance  Just as I wished that I had read The Maine Woods before I was lying in bed in my newly rented cabin in 1974 being eaten alive by midges and no see'ums and black flies- he did write about them!- his bit about Love is words to pay attention to also. Learning that Thoreau was not particularly successful in that part of his life is something of a comfort to me, that feeling  of "loser" branded on the forehead, something shared with a great literary figure.
How the hell is this going to end? took over about 2/3 of the way through, an interesting mix of really enjoying what was going on, but not comprehending where it could possibly go.This might be where I should confess that obtaining a copy of the book was the perfect excuse to just say F)(K IT to a whole day and stay in bed under the electric blanket to read it. A mental health day, if you will, after what has truly been the longest winter of my entire life. 

I was not dissatisfied. 
A very good read, so much better than my review. Pick up a copy before it snows again.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting a Handle On It

Rome wasn't built in a day.....
Tobin's Goodwill $2.00 find marked half off to $1.00 for the mail- no excuse to lose it now, with an impossible-to-not-notice container hung right by the door.....

                               Tea-Rex, guarding both herbal and caffeinated Green Gold.
So many touch ups and pieces of finishing to do! Marie Kondo is right about touching every object in THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP. Having a personal relationship with one's stuff  isn't possible until one knows what is actually there. Amusing and freeing and majorly WTF!-ing! to empty drawers and handle each and every piece.
A long ways to go yet, but a good start towards having a more intentional life . And yes! I DO see where the touch ups are needed!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Second Day

There's no use crying over spilt.....paint! Except when it spills on a brand new pair of Christmas boots. My daughter, the doctor, was visiting for a few days, and strangely enough, she has a painting addiction as big as my crochet addiction, so she came armed with paints and brushes and shelving to heartily begin a much needed kitchen redo here in Phippsburg. The primary color being cobalt blue, we found ourselves in Home Depot on New Year's Day looking for accent paint. There's nothing quite like the sound of a newly filled paint can going BLOOP! on the floor. We were surrounded almost immediately by Home Depot fencing, which I didn't get pictures of since I began to laugh so hard that finding the ladies room was immediately necessary. Tobin's boots were saved, I didn't pee my pants, and we managed to get the shelving, etc we needed.
There's still quite a ways to go, but cobalt and orange is such an energy rush! Will take more photos as things progress, but now, with nearly everyone gone, the house quiet,so- it's naptime!

Mika has only ONE blue ear- so far!