Sunday, July 25, 2010

What's important....

During those 45 minutes that we were seeking shelter in our basement during a tornado warning, I was thinking about what I should have grabbed before the tornado rips my house apart akimbo.

Mr. Downeastdoing stuff already did this self evaluation and his determination was: beer.

I, myself, gave this more thought than that.

Many people say family photos. Yeah, maybe, but I can see with my 89 year old parents that they are trying to foist their collection of family photos onto me and I really don't want them. Oh yeah, I took a few so that I would remember that even I, was once a baby and I did  graduate Junior High, High School and College in an actual cap and gown. But other than that, I didn't really take any other 'black and white' and faded color snap shots. 

So who is going to want the 8 organized in chronological order albums I made? Not my child who doesn't want anything that isn't on his i-phone.

So family photos....maybe.

Let's is my top ten list of what should be grabbed just before your life is going to be torn apart...

10. Family photos...maybe. 

9. Family documents....I guess....although they can all be replaced....for a fee, I'm sure.

8. Recipes....especially old, favorite ones and the Slovak family ones (that's what I am). I should type those onto my laptop, now that I think about it. Yeah, good idea.(That's why I keep this blog, makes me think about these things...)

7. Hairdryer and round brushes....I know, I know, I can replace these, but I would need them the very minute the tornado is over and Mr. Downeastdoingstuff  starts up the generator. (I have major hair issues and I would think the humidity would be high after a tornado is over, what with all the ripped up water pipes and stuff.)

6. Jewelry.....not that I have anything all that great, but I've already been through having my house robbed and ALL my jewelry taken at one time and then having to replace it.  (NOTE: My advice to anyone that wears jewelry. DO NOT, I say, DO NOT keep all your jewelry in one spot, ie. a jewelry box. All the burglar has to do is to grab it in one fell swoop and it's gone.) Rather keep your jewelry all over the house or in boxes that say Rat Poison.

5. A coffee yogurt and a Diet Pepsi. You probably will be hungry right after surveying the damage and digging around for your family photos. Don't forget a spoon.

4. My purse. I might need my credit cards and car keys, assuming the car is not in a tree somewhere. Lip gloss and sunglasses, too.

3. My paintings.....although this is too daunting a task, it would be nice to have.
3a. My Laptop and charger. (use with generator) 'nuf said.

2. My Cats.....Little Molly and Sophie. Can't live without them, cause they're purrrrfect.

1. My retainer. OK. Yeah. My retainer. 

Being an adult orthodontic patient, insurance didn't cover any of the million dollars it cost me. Everynight I have to wear a clear plastic retainer for the rest of my life if I don't want to revisit the Orthodontist. And I am fully aware that every night when I put it on, it is tight and is loose by morning. So my teeth shift even during the course of the day.

 JUST IMAGINE sifting through tons of debris that used to be our house after a category Fujita scale-5 tornado looking for a clear, plastic retainer. Ain't gonna happen. And it takes weeks to get a new one made. So, that is the number one thing I should have grabbed.

(Well, it's tied at number one with the cats, truth be told.)

That's it. 

There's no place like home.

What would you take with you?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hunkered down in the *&%$# cellar for 45 minutes.......

or, this isn't Kansas anymore.

Hey, I live in Maine. We're not supposed to get tornado warnings.  Are we?

It started out a gorgeous, warm summer day. Weather forecasts were predicting severe thunderstorms in the afternoon, but we've heard that before.

Not a cloud in the sky.

By late afternoon the weatherman had hi-jacked all 3 Portland stations. They were showing non-stop radar maps of the rapidly changing weather situation. 

"See this hook? Sure sign of rotation.  Wait...yes....our doppler radar indicates two rotations (code word for tornado) right there and there.", says the meteorologist as excited as I've ever heard him while using a pointer aiming right at where we live !

"You're sh!ting, me!" I proclaim.

"I must stress", says the weather guy, "this is a serious situation. A warning is much worst than a watch. You must take precautions right now."

Promptly a graphic comes up with directions for what to do. 

1.Go down the cellar if you have one. If not, go to they furthest place in the house away from windows. Do not open any windows.

2. Cover your head and neck with pillows or mattresses. Try to go under a sturdy workbench or table. (Workbench...ha...ours doesn't get any work done on it's out in the garage, But that's another story.)

3. If you are outside, do not attempt to outdrive a tornado. Get out of the car and lay in a ditch.
(I have issues with this one, but nevertheless.....)

In a controlled panic I ask Hubby....."how do we know when to go down the cellar?"

A confused look is all I get. My interpretation of the look is, "I'm not going down the *&%$# cellar!"

Five minutes later we are down the damp, unfinished 200 year old *&%$#  cellar with every pillow I could find, 3 flashlights, 2 cats and a portable radio that emitted static.

It was way to creepy for me. Scrunched up on one of the pillows, I was just waiting for the sound of a freight train. Thank God, it never came.

But it did come elsewhere.......

Despite the tree damage, there appears to be little structural damage. We lucked out....this time.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service confirmed that 3 tornados touched down in Maine that day. The above pictures show the damage from one of them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you Brattcat....

Mr. Downeastdoingstuff, aka Birdman, and I have been blogging only for about 1 1/2 years. It's really been a lot of fun and we have 'met' many, many interesting people. (YOU guys!)

 We have actually, in reality, met, in real life, Mr. and Mrs. Brattcat from Brattleboro, Vermont last December when they came to Portland. 

They were gracious enough to invite us to their neck of the woods this past weekend. 

It was a blast spending time with 2 very talented, very nice people in the Green Mountain State.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Brattcat for a wonderful time.
P.S. On the way there, somewhere west of Keene, NH, we stopped at rest area. It was a quaint, tiny little building with a kindly gentleman offering help to weary travelers, a cold water dispenser and rest rooms. That was about it and that was all anyone needed.

But just in case, posted on the inside of the ladies room door, was this map. 

Notice the 'You are Here' marking. I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I didn't see that. I probably would have been lost forever.

Thank you New Hampshire. Live Free or Die.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Random thoughts....

I saw fried ice cream on the menu at the beach. OK, someone tell me, why would ice cream need any help at all, especially from oil? 

And think about all the molecules of ice cream that have melted away in the frying process. 

What a waste of resources.

My husband, Mr. Downeastdoingstuff, is always thinking. His thoughts really flow with a bottle of wine.

(Ask our contractor, most of the work and additions to our house popped into Mr. DEDS head via vino. All worth it, I might add.

This time he E-MAILS me this tidbit. (yes, we do live in the same house. I was actually IN the house with him when he e-mailed me this.) (although I should talk....I've actually called him on his cell from my cell while we were both in the house!) it is.....

"Hey, it's HOT out but...
Ok- maybe I've been out in the heat a bit much. I've been thinkin'--- here are some innovative ideas that should be tried immediately

1. in summer wash shorts and wear immediately! Wet. Real cool! Try it!

2. Eliminate the month of March immediately!  Each month takes on 2-3 extra days. Birthdays moved to other months. The month is a mental DRAG!

3. Buy a car--- the car is immediately registered for 100 years! No charge! No questions! Also-- a one time inspection sticker is given at that time.

4. Make it REAL hard to fall in love!  You know make it emotionally and physically challenging.  Make it like a Game Show! I haven't got this one all worked out yet. THEN--Incentives should be given 10 years, 15, 20 and so on you get valued coupons. (too many divorces on this planet)

5. No more irons... put on your clothes with a million wrinkles, then walk under this quick-iron machine, like the metal detector at airports. An instant dry mister(like at Disney in summer months) filled with water and Wrinkle-free. Sort of like getting freeze-dried, fast, no curling of hair, and clothers instantly ironed and pressed. This would save me lots of time and complaining! Both by me and others I love."

The last one may have been a residual inspiration from one of my previous posts on ironing. Or maybe it's because I refuse to iron any of his stuff.

I'm sure he'll email me and let me know. Looking forward to hearing from him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Birthday week is finally OVER!

Can't wait til my birthday week, although being in October, I'll most likely be celebrating it in school with 12 year olds. Happy days.....

But back to the topic at hand. Mr. DEDS requested going to a restaurant in Portland for Brunch. This is a neat little place across from the Post Office that I've been eyeballing for many, many years, but have never been to. 

It has always intrigued me, especially at dusk when the lights are on inside.
It's kinda funky inside... eclectic .....just like we are. 
Here is Mr. Birthday boy, on his actual birthday, toasting with a Bloody Mary, outside on Bintliff's funky deck.
The breakfasts here are quite a feast....and yes.....kinda funky and eclectic, too. Perfect place.
Once back home, we had Birdman's brother and matey over for Sapphiretinis, a beverage inspired by the cruise......Curacoa....coco rum.....banana liquer...and pineapple juice. (it does not turn your mouth blue like sno-cones do)
We had appetizers and dessert. As far as I'm concerned, you never even need a meal when entertaining. Appetizers and dessert and booze. That's my idea of a party.
He wanted blueberry pie for a birthday cake. (I think that WILL turn your mouth blue) and icecream. Ever thrifty, I recycled my son's birthday candles. He's not really 24, or even 42 for that matter. 
And finally some of his gifts. Key elements of his personality: Beer, Birdfeeder, necktie from the Portland Museum of Art, and Needhams

Perfect day to a perfect week. I hope you enjoyed it, sweetie. 

Forever young.

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth 
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

--Bob Dylan

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Happy Birthday Birdman!  Kiss. Kiss

At the end of today, officially, it's the end of Birthday Week! (I KNOW it will be only 4 days and a week is 7 but, shhhhhhh......)

So, to recap yesterday, Day 3 of Birthday Week...

Woke up to a dark, rainy, dreary day....

So what to do today, on the 3rd day of Birthday Week, Mr. DEDS? 

" hair day (really bad hair day).....dark and forboding.......I know!
Let's go to Hampton Beach for some French Fries!!!!!"

A man after my own heart.
So we pile into the car, and in the late afternoon (I had to go to the gym first...) head south about 1 hour and a half and end up here, at this bar called the Sea Ketch, up on the 3rd floor deck.

Actually, it was a Corona Lite.

That thing that appears to be an island is actually land connected to the main land. Some very low fog has obliterated much of the earth.

The bar from is clearing.....

PLENTY of places to buy horrible, delicious, unhealthy food. yum.

Ever the nutritionist, this was my approved selection for supper.

Every night there is a different band that plays, right on the main street. It's nice.

Got home at about 11pm. It was fun!

Now to get ready for my beloveds real Birthday.....more on that later.

I love you Birdman!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day Two of Birthday week......

Yesterday completed day two of the now famous Birthday Week.

Unfortunately, nobody provided me with fodder for my blog like someone did on Monday. It would have been a far more exciting day if someone in the theatre had taken their clothes off....but they didn't (and I looked....). So, we just did our thing.

First, we went up to the Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick to see My Fair Lady during the Matinee. They always do a great job, and yesterday was no exception, despite my seat behind a woman with the biggest head I've ever seen. (She kept her clothes on....) This theater is on the beautiful campus of Bowdoin College.

The Pickard Theatre

Summer offerings.

Following that....the highlight of 'my' day. A dream come true. A Genie in a Bottle type of event.

(((((We had dessert first! ))))) A stop a Dairy Queen in Westbrook. Oh yes, there is a God.

A half chocolate, half vanilla cone for me and a Mocha Chip Blizzard for the Birthday Boy.

True ecstasy, truth be told, would have been a Peanut Buster Parfait, but my doctor       ( read this in a really whiny voice) told me not to have salt.....and peanuts have salt. 

I'm a good girl. I do what I'm told. (Stop laughing Birdman aka Mr. DEDS....)

The grand finale of the day was a free pizza from a local pizza/gas station. Buy at least eight gallons of gas, 12 times, and you get a free pizza. (Right, Annie's Mom and friend?)

Day two of Birthday Week is history.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Birthday week.....who knew?

So my husband announces last night that his 'Birthday Week' is beginning, henceforth, tomorrow. Meaning today. Yeah, I know his birthday is Thursday, but what's up with this 'Birthday Week'? And how come when it's my birthday, it's basically a birthday '30 minutes'?

So, anyway, the plan apparently is to do something different everyday until his birthday, so off we trudged to Willard Beach in South Portland, Maine.

It was in the 80's and sunny, so why the heck not? We packed our lunches, piled our beach paraphernalia into the car and headed out.

The beach was not too is a Monday and most people were in work. We found a nice spot, settled in and Mr. Downeastdoingstuff says, "Look at that suit."
"Look at that guy's suit", he said as he nodded his head backwards.

Now, I love to people watch, see what they are up to, check out what they are wearing, stuff like that. 

But this is one for the books.....(click on this photo to biggify it....please...)
Yup, that's his suit. If you look real close, you can see the threads that are holding it on.
You know that joke, " Is that a _________(fill in the blank), or are you just happy to see me?"
For some reason, that joke came to mind.

Then, oh yes, then, he sat up. Almost more disturbing.
About 45 minutes later, we hear all kinds of chatter and ruckus. I glance to the right and see a pile of teenagers (and younger) coming down the steps to the beach. 
I pray, "Don't turn left. Don't turn left"
"Go left !" I hear one of their counselors bellow. (There were about 40 of them, I counted.)
Marching forward, they all turned left towards us, and, ahem, toward 'him'.
Well, I just sat back and watched the show.
The word 'giggles' was made specifically for what ensued. Lots and lots of giggles, surreptitious pointing and averted eyes. I loved it.

The counselor all of a sudden demanded, "Don't go past that white boat!" (The one you see in the above photo, which was next to me where I was sitting)

'HE' was to my left.

I watched 'him' to see if he would try to cover up or something. Nope. Nothing phased him at all. He even rolled onto his side, (toward the kids) , reached into his bag (the one on the blanket...get your mind out of the gutter) and grabbed a sandwich and had his lunch, still in his stretched out, check me out, pose.  If he wasn't facing me, I would have snapped a shot of that, too.
But I'm not the pervert here! 

Disclaimer: God, I hope he doesn't read this blog...if he does...."Hey, who put these photos of the nice man sunning himself on my blog???" 
After only about 30 minutes, the kids left. Kinda a short beach day, I think it was just their lunch break from a day camp at SMCC. So Mr. DEDS and I took a walk. That's the birthday boy in the above photo, doing what he always does....getting into contorted shapes to take photos with his super, duper camera for his blog.
Upon returning to our encampment, I created this sand Angel from junk around my beach chair.
Heavenly, isn't she?
This is her, in the below photo, on the weekends, letting it all hang out....
Apparently it was time to go home. 'HE' left (I didn't even get the pleasure of seeing him stand up), the food was gone, and clouds were coming in.

So we went home. Stopped at the liquor store and bought ingredients to make the following:

First day of Birthday Week under our belts. Can't wait for tomorrow.......

Friday, July 9, 2010

   24 years ago tonight.....ah, yes. What a mish mash of emotions. Something that hurt so much produced something so wonderful. Weird, huh? I can see where the phrase 'no pain, no gain' comes from. My little boy was born.

   This photo was taken during his first day on this earth. How Mr. Downeast doing stuff caught this smile with his camera, is beyond me...but he did. Had no idea he captured it until the film was developed. (Remember the old days...actually developing film?) (Although, that particular picture was developed in a darkroom by Mr. DEDS himself.)

   Now, just to clarify, that mysterious smile disappeared once we got home. And it wasn't Mr. DEDS's housekeeping skills while I was sequestered in the hospital. Something called 'colic' took over, and he cried for three entire months. Three long months. The doctor told me that it would probably last ONLY three months. After ONLY three months, TO THE DAY, he woke up smiling again and he's been smiling ever since. (I didn't mind it too, too much however,....I got to hold him almost all his waking hours. He always smelled nice.) (ummm, in retrospect I didn't mind it...) 

   As a matter of fact, he has the most beautiful smile I've ever seen. Really. A tiny part of it is thanks to his orthodontist, but mostly it's him.

   And you know what? He makes me feel like smiling, too. 

   I love you, little bird.

   Happy Birthday my baby.

Monday, July 5, 2010

9 Day Explorer of the Seas Cruise to the Caribbean.....

We're back!
Here are some random photos of our cruise to Bermuda, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico, sailing off from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. This was our fourth cruise.
An absolutely wonderful, fun vacation celebrating our 35th Anniversary.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas.

Balcony Stateroom.

I think this is St. Maarten.....

Docked in Bermuda.

St. Maarten street....

A towel creature appeared every night.

St. Maarten

St. Thomas.

Sapphire Beach in St. Thomas.

The Solarium, an adult only pool on the ship.

San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A Caribbean sunset from the ship.

Looking down a staircase on the ship.

The Royal Promenade on the ship.

The hot tub in the gym on the ship.

The basketball court and rock climbing wall aft....

Mini golf on the ship.

The other two pools and three hot tubs. A band played here every afternoon.

A dream vacation. Thank you, Birdman, for more wonderful memories.