Sunday, February 28, 2010

Storm Aftermath

My heart goes out to those in the world suffering from earthquakes and storms. This seems minor in comparison. Tree

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The National Weather service is having a hissy fit with sites like accuweather that called our recent storm "a snowicane", claiming that it was inciting panic in the populace.

We were 32 hours without power, but I learned from a friend that southern Maine had 90 mph hours winds; the Portland jetport reported winds over 70mph; a town not far from here had 38 inches of snow; the entire Bristol pennisula is without power; 8 inches of rainfall was common in those places that had rain. *raises hand*

The NWS argues that Hurricanes are tropical in nature-our temps here are in the 40's which is more or less tropical for Maine in February.

I have been in Maine 30 years and have not seen as much damage from named hurricanes. I think the NWS needs to re-think what to call these massive storms that have no name. Panic? Well, if there is storm coming that is going to knock out your power for more than 24 hours (this one knocked out power to over a million people-100K in Maine), people need to be worried.

Sure, I'm set up for no power-I have a hand pump for well water, kerosene lamps, oil, and candles, a wood stove for heat...but a lot of folks are left in the cold and without water; I think they deserve a chance to get prepared to stay elsewhere for a few days. BEFORE the falling trees make the roads impassable.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moon n' Snow

Ok, the snow didn't show up in the pic, but it was snowing with the moon out. We are in the midst of a huge thaw. Our temps are still wayyyy above normal-and have been for the whole month.

We have finally had a weather pattern change, and now we are going to get the storms. But it will be rain or rain mix where I am. The inland ski areas might get three feet of snow by the end of the week.

The Eyes Have It


YOU are a sky of autumn, pale and rose;
But all the sea of sadness in my blood
Surges, and ebbing, leaves my lips morose,
Salt with the memory of the bitter flood.

In vain your hand glides my faint bosom o'er,
That which you seek, beloved, is desecrate
By woman's tooth and talon; ah, no more
Seek in me for a heart which those dogs ate.

It is a ruin where the jackals rest,
And rend and tear and glut themselves and slay--
A perfume swims about your naked breast!

Beauty, hard scourge of spirits, have your way!
With flame-like eyes that at bright feasts have flared
Burn up these tatters that the beasts have spared!
by Charles Baudelaire

Our Eyes

Our eyes
are limpid
drops of water.
In each drop exists
a tiny sign
of our genius
which has given life to cold iron.
Our eyes
are limpid
drops of water
merged absolutely in the Ocean
that you could hardly recognize
the drop in a block of ice
in a boiling pan.
The masterpiece of these eyes
the fulfillment of their genius
the living iron.
In these eyes
filled with limpid
pure tears
had failed to emerge
from the infinite Ocean
if the strength
had dispersed,
we could never have mated
the dynamo with the turbine,
never have moved
those steel mountains in water
as if made of hollow wood.
The masterpiece of these eyes
the fulfillment of their genius
of our unified labour
the living iron.

by Nazim Hikmet

The Tiger

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies 5
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 10
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp 15
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 20

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake. 1757–1827

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Book For Each

We had some time to kill before the movie started yesterday, so we took a walk over to the local bookseller. The Firebird was looking for the fourth in the Alchemist series, but apparently it isn't out yet. So he gladly accepted Eragon, the book the movie of the same name is based on. Willow picked out "Into the Land of the Unicorns".

I glanced at some books on the way to the checkout, but mostly tried to keep my eyes behind the lids and my hands in my pockets. I have to physically restrain myself at bookstores-too often I have walked out with a sack of books and spent every dime in my pocket.

We were standing in line at the checkout, and Willow said, "look Mom, "THE ROAD!" Willow loves Viggo Mortensen and is quite aware of my angst at not being able to view the movie, which had a very limited release. Perhaps the reason for my phobia towards the voice prompt at Fandango; going through every major city in the state of Maine saying, "The Road" to hear, "I'm sorry, I can't find that."

I hesitated at the bookstore. I told the kids to stay in line and walked over to the display. I picked up the book. I really wanted to see the movie before I read the book. It should be on DVD soon. I looked at the cover photo of Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee and the price on the back cover. A bit pricey for a paperback. Dang, I returned to line with it in my hand. That would be my book.

I started it last night, reading in between commercials of our favorite show. The kids went to bed. I kept reading. I had some coffee. I kept reading. I liked that McCarthy doesn't use quotes in typing lines. A writer after my own heart.

Very often when reading a book, a mental image develops in your mind of the characters. But one had already been provided for me. I adore Viggo Mortensen. I could see him in every line of the book as "The Man". I have heard that he blows this role right out of the water and should have been nominated for an Oscar for this performance.

As a parent, oftentimes a financially challenged one, I could identify with the burning need to protect one's child, to keep them warm, fed,clothed, healthy, and safe from the bad guys.

I read and read. Images of running from starving cannibals, ransacking ash-covered ruins for morsels of grain, the pitch dark when you can't see anything, struggling through cold and rain and snow and dead woods. Yep, I was there.

I knew the end was heart-wrenching, and decided to go to bed and save the end for the light of day. I saw feral black kitty on the stoop and gave him a dish of food on my way to bed. I snuggled down and closed my eyes. I thought I heard shrieking outside. My imagination. Then the inside cats started growling at the window. More shrieking. The dog went ballistic. Not my imagination after all.

I was the defender, my job. I stepped barefoot and half dressed onto the back step and growled. I banged the ladder. I banged the ashcan. I said, "GO ON!" I clapped my hands sharply and went back in. WTH? Bobcat? Screech Owl? Dying Rabbit? Murdering Cannibals?

I stoked the woodstove and had a smoke to calm my racing heart and went back to bed- the dog following me as if I would protect him, too. Black Kitty was back on the step, scarfing food, looking quickly into the woods as he ate.

Pleasant dreams! LOL.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief

First of all it would have been much simpler for audiences if the movie had been titled merely, "The Lightning Thief", which I had to struggle to recall. The automated voice prompt at our local theater kept insisting, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that."

So I had to go through all the movies (maybe they were hoping I would find something more interesting, but I had promised a twelve and eight year old we were going.)

We were thrilled to see Sean Bean in the TV previews-alas, he had a tiny role , albeit as the King of Gods, Zeus. The ferryman probably had more lines, but I am jumping the story.

Wait, if you are reading this, you are most likely an adult, and the story doesn't really matter-you're taking your kids, right? Unless you thoroughly enjoyed Eragon (I swear I thought of that before I read the Huffington Post review) or "Inkheart", as an adult you will be disappointed in this film.

Yeah, the special effects were ok-I even jumped a couple of times. But to waste Uma Thurman off as Medusa when all the rest of the female cast, including Athena and Poseidon's lover-the mother of the star, no not the Lightning Thief...*sighs* paled in comparison...

Zeus is sure Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, has stolen his lightning bolt and he is going to destroy mankind if he doesn't get it back. Percy just wants to save his Mom from Hades-aww gotta love a boy who wants to save his Mom. The Huffington Reviewer got that wrong and said he just wanted to return the bolt to Zeus-well, that was after he accidentally discovered it, right before the climatic last fight. I guess the Huffington reviewer stepped out for a long smoke in the middle-something I desperately wanted to do when I realized they needed to find three pearls before going to Hades and they had just recovered one...

And please, you can cut of heads of things and carry them about, but you can't give a Satyr balls? Maybe he was a randy wether. Or maybe I have just been working around bucks too much.

Kids loved it-I'd give it 4-1/2 out of ten stars.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Off Season

Wet Feet

Wet Boots

Saturday, February 13, 2010

HIdden Deer

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Have you seen a huge tree ride the wind in a storm?
Flinging all its green branches like wings to the skies,
Yet its breast in the fight with the wind holding firm,
Like a bird soaring over the puddles it flies...

It withstands all the lightning and soaks up the rain...
Then the moisture like sweat trickles down to the soil
From its rough rugged branches subdued by the strain
Like a man's drooping hands when exhausted from toil.

Soon those gnarled weary branches regain their old
And the tree starts to rustle again,
by and by,
Look, it rises and spreads its green arms at full length,
For it knows while it's working its sap will not dry.

Though it had to withstand the wind's rages and rain,
Now dispersing the clouds like black ravens it clings
To the sky,
to the sun the huge tree soars again
On its own leafy branches like feathery wings...

Have you seen such a tree
in its challenging flight?
Do its boughs not remind you
of these hands, my own,
When they rise against storm blast and thunder to fight?
It's a hardworking, free pair of hands that I own...

My two hands worship freedom.
They crave for its balm
When long furrows they turn and sow seed in the loam.
They enjoy being free to hold bread in their palm
And to bear every day a fresh loaf of it home.

My own hands,
like those branches and fluttering sprays,
Shield a bird from deep snowdrifts and piercing winds...
My own hands greet the sun when at dawn with its rays
Like a girl to a man's well-knit body it clings...

My own hands, I am saying...
But are they just mine?
Can I claim they belong but, to me?
They are dust of a mountain,
no matter how fine,
Or two drops
in the infinite sea...

Nonetheless, tiny drops
make the sum of an ocean,
And a mountain is simply
a heap of fine sand...
So to keep this magnificent world in motion
There must be a call for my working hands...

My two hands may belong
to the plough in the field,
To the scythe mowing grass
and the saw cutting lumber,
To the loom weaving cloth
and the hammer I wield,
To the far-ranging rocket, an atom-age wonder...

My two hands
may be fitted
for kneading crisp dough
Or for saving a tree from hard frost,
They can carry the flag in a clash with a foe
And sustain my own friend who is lost.

My two hands
are needed
to water a flower
And to save its fine blooms from becoming dry,
To let free a caged bird is within their power
Ant to lift you, my son, to the sun in the sky!

Now and then hands are needed
for brushing a tear
From my own and a stranger's cheek...
They are needed to give kindly warning, good cheer
To a baby whose own hands are weak...
Hands are needed
for stroking your loved one's soft hair
And for striking the foe who comes trampling your land...
They enfold a good man for whose friendship you care,
And in greeting you offer your hand...

Just two hands I possess...
Though I had seven score
I should still feel myself to be nought.
I despise metal gold,
but like gold I adore
Human hands and the things they have wrought.

Just two hands I posses...
Take them, Earth, in return
For your harvests, the fruit of your lands...
Take these hands –
they are muscular hands, broad and firm –
They belong to you. Come, take my hands...

Eduardas Mieželaitis

Translated by Lionginas Pažūsis

Snow That's not Funny

The Mid Atlantic area where I spent my childhood is getting a second blizzard in a week. My sister was out of power for two days-unheard of for that area-which meant no heat in her condos. They had nearly three feet of snow and another 18 inches today.

That would be a lot of snow for us here in Maine. Maine is designed to deal with snow. Parking bans go into effect in the cities-no street parking so road crews can come in and load the snow in trucks and haul it away. Our rural roads are maintained year round so that special plows with an extra plow on the side can wing the banks back out of the way to allow for the next snow bank. I have seen it in bad years where they just knock the tops off the snowbanks so the next storm can be thrown on top of the old snowbank.

They don't have this type of equipment down in the mid Atlantic states. They don't need it. 7 or 8 inches of snow is a big storm that you might not even see in a winter.

I remember the blizzard of 1978 we had about three feet of snow. The records I looked up disagree and said a foot and a half, but I remember waking up the next morning and not being able to see a car in the parking lot. They were white humps. Maybe that is because they were in a parking lot, but I remember wading to the local seven-eleven through snow up to my mid-thigh.

The radio was putting out a call for anyone with a four wheel drive and a plow to get out and help clear the streets. Of course, it all melted in a week, but things were at a standstill for a few days.

Now two monster storms back to back-it is unheard of. Both storms went out to sea south of us here in Maine. We are seeing temps above normal for February; 43F yesterday and I wanted to open the back door it was so hot in the house! LOL! I get used to working outside in zero degree temps and I was ready to jump in an ice fishing hole in the pond yesterday to cool off!

I hope everyone is safe through the storms south of here. Personally I would like to see a little rain in Maine as the water table is running a little low, but the folks along the Kennebec would rather some of that ice melt this week before we get any rain. We have a lot of winter left here-snow is not unusual for April but it usually doesn't last long.

I just hope D.C. doesn't have snow on the cherry blossoms this year.

Monday, February 8, 2010



ingw Hi


(endbegi ndesignb ecend)tang
ofC omego




(from n
o(into whe)re f


E. E. Cummings

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We are the time. We are the famous

We are the time. We are the famous
metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.

We are the water, not the hard diamond,
the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.

We are the river and we are that greek
that looks himself into the river. His reflection
changes into the waters of the changing mirror,
into the crystal that changes like the fire.

We are the vain predetermined river,
in his travel to his sea.

The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.

Memory does not stamp his own coin.

However, there is something that stays
however, there is something that bemoans.

Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shrimp Season

This is a common roadside sight this time of year in Maine. I couldn't resist and went back and bought 5 pounds. I will pick the meat-first by twisting off the head, then peeling the carapace from the legs around over the body, and then with a pinch of the tail, the meat will be free. I think I will bread them in cracker crumbs and flour, fry them up, and eat them with tartar sauce. Yum. These are small shrimp-not your jumbo prawns. They can be poached and served with cocktail sauce, hmmm...that sounds good, if only I could get at my horseradish root...;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kennebec River Under Ice

Saturday I was relieved to find my favorite Chinese restaurant open. It sits on the banks of the Kennebec River in Hallowell, and the Kennebec had two days of severe flooding due to an ice jam downriver below Gardiner.

The Kennebec is a tidal river, fresh and saltwater. It rises and ebbs with the tides. We had a LOT of rain and warm temps last week that melted a lot of the snowpack and broke up some of that river ice, which then flowed downstream and jammed up against a bridge.

Now when the tide wants to go out, it meets an ice dam nearly twenty feet thick, so the water backs up upstream, depositing ice floes in riverfront basements.

This weekend we had an arctic blast, and the coast guard, four icebreakers, gave up and decided to come back when the weather warms up. Folks along the river are praying for a gradual warm up that will rot the ice pack, and not anymore heavy rains. Time will tell.

I was in such a hurry to get home with the Chinese food, plus I was blocking in about six cars in the parking lot, that I didn't snap this pick until I was on the bridge in Augusta looking south downriver.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Poems of Bayard Taylor

Bayard Taylor