Just A Maine Girl Embarking on Adventures

Posts tagged ‘family’

Best of Unsorted

A few years ago, I lost all my photos.  My backup drive went corrupt.  I was able to save most, but I did end up with having lost 2011 and some of 2012.  Thankfully, I did have some backed up here, on wordpress as well as a few on disc, remember that?


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The above taken along the R&R tracks out back. 

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Both of these above were taken on Parent’s Mountain in front of my house. 

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This shot – took me a while to set up, mostly because the sun never quite hit at the right place.  I had to do a bit of – scouting to get JUST the shot!


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More perspective shots from Parent’s Mountain!

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Kasey’s House

Houses are far more than 4 walls and a few doors and a place to sleep.  They are homes, they are safe and they are the place we always yearn for. I’ve known Kasey for six or more years, and I remember during the 1st year of our friendship, we happened by the farm house and she said, “And that’s the house that goes with our farm.” 

It was one of those old homes with character and I thought it would have suited Kasey (and her family) just fine. 

The house is now hers (and Andrew’s of course!).  Make sure you check out the full albums Smile 


Jules and I bought an old house, but one that has already been “fixed up” in many ways.  I offered Kasey my Wednesday off to help out.  She said “only if you can.”  I consider Kasey family, so of course I could.  I came armed with my camera. 

I love doors.  I have a small door that leads to the cubby under our stairs.  I love doors.  I love door handles too. 


There is something about the dark, gleaming, wood doors and the old door handles with intricate designs. 


Oh that little peep hole.  The swirls and the black gleam of the knob, and when you turn the knob you hear the mechanisms shift and pop the door open, letting you thru. 

Door Collection


I love light switches!  I have this old, battered, turny light switch.  I will never replace that light switch.  Ever!  Kasey has some lovely funky push button switches.


In most of the upstairs rooms, each wall has a pair of lights on the inside wall.  Makes for a lovely perspective shot.


Each room is unique.  Which, is a lot like every member of the family.  Each member is unique and different, but part of a whole.



What do we do w/mason jars?  We drink from them of course – and I take pictures of them. 



The trim, and the swirls and lines and the shine.  All part of how an old house will never be out of date, or never be worthy of redemption. 


This is a sill that is at the head of the stairs, so when we are all tramping down the stairs like a herd of elephants, we miss these details.  I love them. 


This is the hinge of one of the closets.  The detail and craftsmanship is always mind blowing. 


Our staircase at home looked a lot like this, but not in as good shape.  We opted to tear is down and put a build in book shelf instead.  This is the view if you lay down and rest the camera on the floor Smile

The house has this wicked, awesome place to sit and read.  I want it.  I may have to incorporate that into the extension we want to build in a few years. 



These are just shots of things that are unique and different and wonderful.  I bet I could walk thru the house a few more times and find different ways to take shots of things. 



I HDR’ed a few photos to pull out some of the stunning details.  It was worth the time to HDR and see what the camera saw that I had missed. 





I’ve been going through my photos.  I’ve far, far to many and if it were up to me I’d take far more photos.  I’m waiting for a computer chip to put in my head where I can take pictures w/my mind.

You know that’s coming. 

There will be an app for that.

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Sometimes a great shot is about luck.  And having a cybershot in your back pocket. 



This one is just cute.  Remy the flying Canadian Cat, sometimes a shot is about seizing the moment. 


I like perspective shots.  From above or below.  Change of focus.  Things of that nature.

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On the drive home one afternoon, Jules looks up to see two moose in a small pond.  I pulled over and with my 80-300 lens I start to shoot.  Not wanting to spook the moose.  Changing a setting or three while the moose dunked its head down to find the greens at the bottom of the shallow pond.  Note: this was taken w/a film camera, not a digital.


The 1st photo I HDR’ed.  My photos aren’t true HRD.  Those are usually three shots, merged into 1, all with different shutter speeds and usually in RAW format.  I don’t own a tripod (yet!) and I don’t have anything that works with RAW photos (yet!).  Since, I’ve learned how to adjust my shutter speeds, etc to be able to “fake” a decent HDR shot. 


This is a far better HDR rendering.  Taking HRD photos on the run is, of course difficult.  But this one, for a “fake” came out rather well. 


As did this one. 


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Picture, however, don’t always have to be fancy.  Or overly pretty.  Pictures are meant to capture a moment in time for all eternity.  A message.  A moment.  A thought. 


A feeling of being together.  Even in the chaos of renovations, in the relentlessness of life that always keeps moving.  It doesn’t have to be taken with a 1000 dollar camera, sometimes a cell phone and a moment is all it takes. 


Mount Katahdin

It’s a big old hunk of granite that reaches out towards the sky to tickle the blue and be the first to be wet on those days where the sky is grey.

My brother, Lee, has always had a fascination with Mount K, for as long as I can remember.  Which, of course, means that I like Mt. K too. 







The splayed toes.  The look on his face.  The hair.  We’ve always said that Tyler has “my” hair.  Wayward, easier to take care of short.  This cowlick that will not quit.  Kids.  I think we have more pictures of Tyler because when he was a baby, I was just working.  I wasn’t putting in 5 hours a week studying, 10 hours travelling, 20 hours in class and another 20 hours at work.  I wasn’t writing novels every month, editing for friends and being a crazy, crazy person.  My fave shots of Sir Tyler. 


The hair.  Ty is only a few weeks old here and look at the mess of hair.  Yup, I have the same mess of hair.  The toes.  Priceless.  The face.  I want to know what he’s thinking.  And he’s with Tante Jules which warms my heart.  Who gave him his 1st ever baby bottle in the hospital.  Good memories.

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Can you say Gerber baby?  The cheeks.  The blue eyes.  The expression.  Perfect.  That’s Tyler, the 1st nephew.  Going blonde. 


One of my favorite pictures because it’s Tyler and Memere.  It’s nice to catch those moments and when he’s older he will be able to look back with fondness. 

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I love taking the camera off that “auto” setting and playing with the different settings.  At 1st, I was wary.  It’s wonderful with digital you can practice all you want!  In the day of film, 24 pictures and a day later, you could look at your photographs and see if you did a good job.  Now, instant gratification.  I had just gotten my Rebel (see how cool that sounds?) and was working on getting a blurred background and a sharp image of my subject.  I took this with my 70-300 zoom, on the marco setting, of all things.  Standing far, far away from active kids can allow you to get some great, fun and rather decent shots.  As long as you can stay steady. 

That’s my post for now!  What are some of your fave shots?  Leave a link in the comments!

Balloon Fest 2013

Last month was the annual balloon festival.  This is our second year in attendance.  Next year, as part of my “Oh my god I’ve graduated and have more than two pennies in my pocket” reward to myself.  I’m going for a ride.  I’m going to cough up the 180 bucks and go up.  Now, I’ll be going alone as everyone I’ve asked has said “Naw huh!”.  I’m not a fan of heights either, but the thought of what the views have to offer?  So going there. 

So this year, we had an added bonus.  My sister was going with her two kids, our nephews, Tyler and Ryan.  We don’t spend nearly enough time with them as we’d like.  Face it, I’m a full time college “kid” and when I go home I study, spend time with my wife or write.  We all met up and went for a walk around the staging are and we saw it.  The General Lee.  Eyes got wide and my sister and I smiled.  My brother, we’ve always said, is named after the General Lee. 




That’s Tyler, the oldest to the left and Ryan, the younger to the right.  The car really looked great. 

We walked some more and went to the bounce house.   Wasn’t a huge hit.  I think they preferred to check things out instead. 




They look nothing alike. 



And then, they took off.  One of the best parts of the day.

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While the whole taking off thing is pretty darn cool, hot air balloons do something just as cool on the ground. 

They glow. 



The festival come around every year, opening part of August, if you’ve never been, I suggest you plot and plan for next year.  It really is worth it.  There are food venders, cotton candy (whooo hoo!) and a small craft fair.  And it doesn’t cost a thing to get in and watch.  Bring a sweat shirt for the chillier evenings, we do still live in Maine, you know.  And just enjoy. 

Kids Being Kids–4.21.2021

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again – we are fortunate to have some GREAT kids in our lives!  Ryan, Rhys, Tyler, Adam, Zoe, Silas, Emerson – they are all great kids in their own way and sometimes – well, they are kids.











The Loss of Cravings-3.15.2012

This really isn’t a PotD post – instead this a devastation of the day post.  It is a very well known fact (amongst our friends) that Julia and I LOVE going out to eat at our fave little diner in Grand Isle: CRAVING!  No matter what we eat there, we love it.  It’s “our” place.  It really is.  We bring my mom there every year for her birthday, we go for our birthdays, we go every week.  When Lauri sees us and she calls out, “It’s the girls! Hi girls, this is what’s for dessert!”  You see, that’s our running joke because Lauri is the Queen of the Dessert.  Today, my mom called to tell me that Cravings was burning and it wasn’t looking good.


At 1st we didn’t move.  Then we said, “We’re going.”  We wanted to make sure that Lauri and Lee were okay.  As we got to the scene Julia pointed to someone that looked like Lauri.  I wasn’t sure.  But, yes, it was.  She’s wiping her eyes, holding her head and this was only the beginning of the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking day.








There is no words to convey or explain how it must feel to lose everything.  For two years, Lee and Lauri have struggled to make this business successful.  Right before Christmas, Rachel, their beloved waitress, was in a horrific car accident and passed away.  Each time we walked in, we missed her, but we WENT anyway.  To support Lauri and Lee, and I’m a lot like Dean Winchester on Supernatural if you can make me a bacon cheeseburger to die for, I’ll eat there forever.  And they deliver, each and every time.  We would go out to eat there all the time, sometimes JUST for dessert that is how decadent it is!  So good. (and these are just a few, my Facebook friends see the posts every week of the desserts and the food!)



This is one of Lee’s creations an its so good!  There are chicken tenders, some bacon and a whole lotta other stuff NOT on our diet – but, its oh so very good!



That was the strawberry chocolate cake that we had last week, we went JUST for dessert.  And to say Hi, the week never felt complete unless we saw Lauri and Lee.

I hope that if they can, Lee and Lauri rebuild.  And I hope that the folks of Grand Isle, and the St. John Valley, pitch in and support them, and all the other people who have always said, “Oh I want to go, but I haven’t yet!”  I jokingly told Lee that we could use this as publicity and he smiled, little does he know my mind spins like no one else’s.  Their income is gone, the place they called home 4 days a week is gone, the people that they saw every week won’t be there every week.  They have lost a huge chuck of their lives.

I know that Julia and I will be there if they need stuff hauled away, painted, or if they just need a shoulder to lean on.  Things like this can be devastating but sometime there is a cosmic plan.  Our thoughts are with you, Lee and Lauri and we are here when and if you need us.

Love “The Girls”.

PS to show everyone support, please share this blog on your Facebook, Twitter, etc.  And then ask ppl to friend: Cravings! – on facebook!  Just to show our support!

Remy the Canadian :)

We have 3 cats. Dutches, Remy and Sage. Julia is a real animal lover, on top of those three; we have a tank full of fish, a rabbit named Willow and a dog named Storm. Remy is my pain in the butt. She doesn’t leave me alone. (right now she is perched over my shoulder, watching me type.) She comes over, bops me in the nose, shoves her head under my chin, and lies across my laptop or my hands until they go numb.

On her second day with us, she was all over me. We go her because one of our other cats had passed away and Dutch was looking for her, and being 10yo, we didn’t want Mama Dutch being alone. At first, I thought she liked my Spiderman blanket, but after a while, I figured she liked me. I’m not big on cuddling animals. But Remy doesn’t care if I’m big on cuddly animals, she figured she’ll break me, and I guess she has. She’s all over me, all the time, our long slinky Canadian cat.

There is simply no deterring her from her task of bugging me while I write, or do homework, or watch TV. I thought after a few weeks this would lessen, but nope! She got bigger and she kept doing it.

Now she can’t lie down across my laptop and let me type, though, sometimes she tries, I put her aside and she runs back to where she was at five minutes before. She’s always on high alert, watching everything and ready to take off and sprint into action.

So I guess even if I’m not big on cuddling w/the animals, I guess Remy will just keep plopping down on me whenever she wants.


Perspective and Always Looking Up

Life is all about perspective. How you view yourself, the ones you love, your family, your whole world. I tend to look up or at least, above where I am now and see what could be, you know, dream a little dream? I try and be energetic and optimistic because I’ve had lots of bad stuff happen to me, and lots of good stuff too. I tend to push away the bad stuff and hold onto the good stuff, you know, always looking up. I work in a business (health care) that can sometimes be dreary and we often find ourselves walking down the long hallways, looking down at our feet and not looking up at faces in the halls. Life is a long road, filled with parallels like railroad tracks, the people who go with you on that journey are the slats that connect the parallel rails. It’s a beautiful journey, but filled with bumps and changing scenery, but our perspective is what keeps it fresh and alive.

Being optimistic can be a pain in the ass sometimes, I mean that. People expect that jolly attitude, goodness forbid that you have an off day and aren’t whistling the Smurf Theme song all the time. Or always be that great person who will come into help on your day off, or give up your free time, or just, darn it, be a great person and pitch in a little extra. But, sometimes you just can’t do it. Or you just can’t always be “that” person. It gets me down at times. When that happens, I try to go outside and take a walk, or sit and write to change my outlook. Always look up. You never know what you will see, a smiling face, a brilliant sunset, or a wicked blue sky.

Perspective is such a tricky thing. Sometimes we, as a person or a worker, or as a mother or daughter feel like we aren’t making a difference, that the river of life just keep raging right by us and no matter how hard we paddle we just aren’t getting anywhere! I have a girlfriend, my wife, my lover, my soul mate, whom I adore, and I can’t marry her because I have boobs too. That’s the long and the short of it, isn’t it? It’s anatomy. If on my birth certificate it said male, I’d have been hitched a month after she moved in with me. But because it says female and I was born with boobs and not a penis, nope, it’s not happening. I always thought marriage was about love. I was wrong. It’s about politics. Sometimes I talk to people about the whole same sex marriage thing, sometimes I post fun rants on Facebook, but mostly I feel like the river of repression is pushing right by me and I can’t do anything about it. Then I’m reminded that one small pebble or one small weed, or stick, can alter the course of a river, make a ripple that can be felt inches, then feet, then yards from where it began. Then I talk to more people and I post more funny rants.

So take a look around you. Look at the people who pepper your everyday life, the ones who you like, who you love and then change that perspective. We stand one way on earth and look to our left, to our right, and then sometimes we look down, but don’t forget to always look up. You might be amazed at what you see.

Photography by JMG

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