Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Nor’easter

We drove home from my aunt’s memorial service in Rhode Island to find at least 14 inches of heavy wet snow carpeting our town. Our area also remains without power. Thankfully, we lost only one tree limb and there appears to be no damage to the house or barn. But the bushes, small trees and shrubs are another matter. We will know more as the week moves on and warmer weather moves back in. But at the moment, it appears that the damage for our property may be worse than the ice storm of December 2008.

The neighbors down the road were kind enough to let us park our car in their driveway until we could make a clear path down our own. We had packed shovels in the car so we walked back to our house and commenced the wintry work. Chuck hauled out the snowblower and cleared the driveway of snow. I set out to remove as much snow from the shrubbery as I could. In some places it meant shoveling lots of snow off where the branches were splayed and then digging out the tips from where they were buried near the ground. Each one that sprang back up without snapping was a little victory.

That done we were able to back the car up the driveway and into the barn. Then Chuck got the generator chugging away and we now have electricity, heat and running water. The temperature inside the house had fallen only to 49F/9C and the freezer had not gotten above 15F/-9C both of which were pretty darn good.

We know we are lucky and we are grateful.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Smart As A Whip

And cute as a button to boot!
Congratulations to our niece Kate!
She passed the Bar Exam!
For the record, she took the exam while she had wicked morning sickness!
Now that’s a trooper!

Ah Ha Moment

When the cruise ships pull into Bar Harbor, the launches fill up with passengers who are then ferried to the dock. The passengers then pour into Bar Harbor. It’s easy to tell the cruise ship passengers from the regular tourists. The cruise ship passengers are the ones walking, standing and wandering into the streets. They ignore crosswalks and have been known to stand in the middle of the road to snap a picture.

This morning, as we navigated the very busy streets, it suddenly occurred to me that the cruise ship passengers must view the charming and picturesque Bar Harbor as a theme park. All the locals are from central casting. And the crosswalks are surely just for show. But where the heck is Mickey?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hello Hare!

As we were driving back to our hotel very late Saturday afternoon, we spotted this big, beautiful bunny sitting alongside a potholed, mixed surface road. This was just a stone’s throw from (the moderately) bustling main drag of Bar Harbor. I snapped a couple of photos through the windshield. Right after I did, he or she took off at a great pace. That was when we really noticed just how large and how white its feet were. Some research on the internet led us to believe it is a Snowshoe Hare or Varying Hare (Lepus americanus). It is likely beginning its long, slow transition to its white winter coat. And it is beautiful in any season.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


With a beautiful day forecast we headed over to the Schoodic Peninsula and more of Acadia National Park. Perhaps because it was a Sunday it was a bit “crowded” - meaning we didn’t have the entire park to ourselves! The National Park Service made some improvements over the summer. The most important of which, from a very practical standpoint, is that they now have a universal access restroom open year round. Why yes it IS the little things that matter most! It’s located on the ride out to Schoodic Point, at the entrance to the former Naval base, now converted to the “Schoodic Education and Research Center”, part of the National Park Service. Because we travel to Maine in the shoulder seasons, all of the restrooms on Schoodic are usually closed. While it’s just a “one-holer”, this state of the art, ecologically sound facility was a pleasure. Now I want one of those nifty instant response water heaters in my house!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


This was the sunrise today over Frenchman Bay and Bald Porcupine Island, here in Bar Harbor, Maine. On mornings like this I don’t want to ever go home, because not only is this exquisitely beautiful, it also feels like home.

Every Happiness

I don’t know who Jeff and Kate are.
I do know that yesterday they were at Seal Harbor in Maine and that we wish them every happiness...

Thursday, October 20, 2011


At long last we have found a good Lobster Roll at a restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine. Don’t get me wrong. Bar Harbor has lots of great restaurants. But it has been hard to find a decent Lobster Roll on a regular menu - not as a special. Tonight, however, we went to a place called the Side Street Cafe. It’s been open just a few years, but we’ve had a meal there on every trip up here. The Lobster Roll at the Side Street Cafe lets the lobster be the star: just a hint of mayonnaise, nestled into a buttered and griddled New England style, split-top frankfurter roll. They serve it with a wedge of lemon on the side if you want to squeeze a splash of juice on it. And, most surprisingly, they dust it with a bit of Old Bay Seasoning - very, very non-traditional, but it works.

The Side Street Cafe doesn’t have a huge menu, but because everything we’ve had has been very good, it never fails to leave us wresting with what to order. Now the Lobster Rolls have complicated matters even further. Nope. That was soooo not a complaint!

P.S. When the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor or Chase’s
in Winter Harbor, has a Lobster Roll on the menu, feel free to order it as you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

When Occupy Wall Street began it got off to a slow and somewhat fuzzy start. The media, however, was even slower with its coverage. Now, after one month, Occupy Wall Street has picked up speed, gained participants as well as supporters, spread globally, is being better covered by the media, has raised the hackles of some police chiefs and mayors and has ticked off many of the “1%” and the far right.

Well done Occupy Wall Street!

Inevitably there has been criticism and a backlash. Some people misunderstand and mischaracterize the Occupy Wall Street participants as whiners, complainers or loafers. They miss the fact that the protesters are standing up on behalf of the vast majority of Americans, the “99%”.

Now we have an open letter penned by Max Udargo and posted over at the Daily Kos. In his letter, Udargo brilliantly explains why Occupy Wall Street matters and why it is vital to us, the 99%. It is a long letter. But it is a wonderfully readable letter. Udargo hits all the right notes and manages to put a compassionate, human face on the issues while at the same time providing historical perspective. I urge you to read it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good Women Both

Two of our aunts passed away this week. One lived to the age of 95; the other 85. One could write a gracious letter; the other could tell a heck of a good story. They were of different religions, upbringings, socio-economic statuses, educations and careers. At a quick glance they had little in common - save Chuck and me. Yet they were both mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and aunts. And each, in her own way, struggled. One had years of a complicated and disheartening family rift which eventually was healed, but not quite in time for all concerned. The other had a lifetime of a complicated and undiagnosed medical condition which was never healed and identified not quite in time for all concerned.

They struggled. They failed. They succeeded.
As do we all.

May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up

Zichrona liveracha - Her memory is a blessing