Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day !!

Lots of things can trick the eye. Here are a few sidewalk chalk artists....

Another trick for the eyes....


This is no trick, just sooooo cute! But you have to watch the translation below as well.

The very important translation...

Now, these videos, they are a riot! Bear through the beginning until they get to the prank. Make sure you see the last part of it, it's a little different. It just cracks me up.

Hope you all have a fun day !!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Sunday Picture....

The cold, falling rain is keeping rhythm on the window at my back. All day. Hours and hours, it is damp, cold and grey. Yet the remaining snow is white and live against the bleakness. Trying its best to survive. It is spring, and it cannot remain. Its icy grip is in vain.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Art

Lately, I've been taking photographs as I'm driving my car. Photos of the road have been intriguing me, and this is my second 'road' picture I've done. This one is 12" x 17", not very big.
I've switched to pastels as I love how sky colors can be blended with chalk. Also, for the first time, I did this one on black pastel paper. Not sure if I like it. My first road composition is much larger and done on gray pastel paper. (see end of post)

Starting the snow on the side of the road. More tree work.

Here I've started putting the sky reflection colors into the road. My CAT added the kitty footprints in the road. (That's what I get for leaving the picture on the coffee table overnight.)
Thanks, Molly.

Here I'm working on getting the road colors right.

This is the finished picture. (Unless I decide it's not.)

Below is the first in my 'road' series, completed this fall.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making Maple Syrup or just a big sap for ice cream...

  Sunday was Maine Maple Sugar Sunday. It’s a day when many maple syrup making farms are open to the public. I stopped by two of them to check out how much free ice cream doused with Maple syrup I could get maple syrup is made.

The first place I stopped  was a small wooden shack stuck in the middle of a field. Being Maine in March, in order to get from my car (parked on the side of a country road at at 45 degree angle, 2 wheels on the tar and 2 wheels in the nonexistent shoulder, tilted precariously toward a madly running stream) I had to walk down a tractor worn farm path about 50 yards through, guess what, mud.

  Not only was there mud, but huge puddles of water, resultant of the melting snow. It was probably in the 40’s -- heatwave weather.

  This particular farm decided they would accomodate their visitors, if need be, using a golf cart. As I was arriving, the golf card was cascading down the mud road toward the tar road I was on, with an elderly lady hanging on for dear life. Hanging on for dear life because the teenager driving it, not old enough yet for a real drivers license, thought to himself, 'YEE HA' and tried to break the Guiness Book of World Records speed record for driving across yards of mud.

  Not being elderly, I walked to the sugar shack.

  Lazy smoke was drifting up into the partly cloudy blue sky and the rather sickly smell of something sugary wafted through the air.

  The mud was so bad at my destination that planks of wood were placed on the ground between the set up card tables selling hot dogs, to the shack. The planks barely wide enough for one foot, causing the pedestrian to use a trapeze artist’s type of walk, lest they lose their balance and end up in the muck..

  Inside the warm shack were about 5 or 6 other folks checking out the maple syrup production in progress.

You know how this is done?

  First you have to find a tree that has the correct sap used in maple syrup. I would guess that would be a maple tree. Then someone pounds some sort of spike into the side of the poor tree and hangs a bucket off of it. The spike is designed to drain the life giving sap out of the unsuspecting tree and into the metal bucket.

  Eventually the bucket gets filled and the sticky liquid gets dumped into something that would allow the sap to be boiled.  Like this thing.

Close-up of syrup evaporating.

  After constant boiling for about 4 million hours, 30 to 40 gallons of watery sap turns into 1 gallon of syrup. It has to be watched like a hawk near the end because it could rapidly burn and ruin the day of the maple syrup entrepeneur. 

  Boiling it over a wood fire imparts a little bit of a smokey flavor, I’m told, which enhances the flavor, I’m also told.

  The second place I stopped in had millions of people there. Cars were lined up both sides of the road for what seemed like miles. They had shacks with hamburgers and hot dogs, shacks with free ice cream with maple syrup on top, the boiling shack, souvenir shack and a big barn with animals in it. The lines were very long for everything, especially the free ice cream.

I didn’t stand in line for this free ice cream. It was too much for even me. 
Besides coffee ice cream, maple walnut is my favorite flavor. Who knows what tree that comes from.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Sunday Picture....

My Sunday picture is of the Nonantum Lighthouse, perched on the edge of the property of the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine. It guards the Kennebunkport River as it enters the village.  Note it is still festooned in a now dried up Christmas wreath even as we enter spring. This is typical in Maine, as you ride around, to see these brown wreaths still hanging on for dear life in various places.

Here is the Kennebunkport River as it heads toward the sea, away from the lighthouse.

All the boats are still out of the cold water, covered in their own personal shrink wrap to protect them from the harsh Maine winters along the coast. 

Here is a shot of Walker's Point, the President George Bush compound off of Ocean Avenue.

Kennebunkport is gorgeous in the summer and really quaint during the Christmas season when all the shops are decorated in tiny white lights and greenery. But even during the ugly month of March, it still has it's charm.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flowers in every pot...

Happy First Day of Spring !!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Take a seat...

I was in the gym the other day using the rest facilities. I noticed, having a keen eye, that the toilet seat chosen for the bathroom was a split seat. ***
Apparently, because there was nothing else on my mind at the time, I thought about how one never sees that style of seat in anyone's home. Why not?

I went home and asked Johnny Depp Mr. Downeast doing stuff what he thinks about this. After some rolling of the eyes, he said, "Probably for men."
I said, "huh?" "Don't men lift the seat?"
"He said, "not when they're sitting down."
After that comment, I decided I didn't want to know anymore.

But I was thinking about all the different types of toilet seats out there. I've only experienced a few:
1. Regular (hard seat)
2. Wooden (we had one, it eventually split itself. Needed duct tape to fix it. Unpleasant situation for a while.)
3. Soft seat. (Creepy)
4. The aforementioned split seat. (see***)
So I did some research for you because I know you don't have time. Here is what I've found.

You can get.....

Painted seats: Some people would like custom painted seats, you know, with a portrait of your sweetie, Cha Cha.

Or perhaps a guitar theme seat: Provides good acoustics for your music.

How about a Sponge Bob Square Pants seat?

Or a square seat: For Sponge Bob Square Pants and his ilk.

Maybe someLED lights seats: You can illuminate the job.

Or the face toilet: Bite my butt! Grrrr

This is the golfers toilet seat cover: (There must be a joke about a 'hole in one'  for this.)

The up and at 'em toilet seat: Guaranteed to wake you up in the morning.

This is a 24 carat gold toilet available in Hong Kong, for all of you receiving a stimulus package or a million dollar bonus. Estimated value: $10.000.00

Here is something your tax dollars paid for. A $19,000,000,000 Russian built space toilet. The new system will be able to produce drinking water for the astronauts.  :-0
(Looks like another Sponge Bob Square Pants toilet seat......)

After buying this for the astronauts, you may want this one...

The Serial Killer Seat. Always on the run.
As a result of my hard work, the consensus seems to be that there are split seats in public places for the lazy male that won't lift the seat and dribbles when he's done.

Geez, thank God that never happens at home. ;-p

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Sunday Picture....on Monday....

Lobster equipment at the ready in Portland harbor yesterday.
There were lots of folks walking around town yesterday and quite a bit of lobster activity going on because:
1. There was a Flower Show. (There is a God.)
2. There was a Boat Show. (People have told me there are two great days when you own a boat:
the day you buy it and the day you sell it. I wouldn't know.)
3. It was WARM! (Fifties, for you out of staters.)
4. The St. Patrick's Day Parade just happened on Commercial Street.      ( Someone tell someone St. Patty's Day is  on Tuesday.)
5. Some St. Patty's day parties going on at Ri Ra's and Brian Borus, two Irish pubs.

We were at Ri Ra's after going to see Gran Torino at the Nickelodeon.  We were paying our check when a bagpipe band came into the room where we were and proceeded to make some god awful noises. I can't imagine any sound more irritating than a bag pipe. screech. squeal.
and more screech. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

A Lobster Story 

In a small fishing village, a Newfoundlander was walking Up the wharf carrying two - at least three-pound live lobsters - one in each hand.

It was three weeks after the season closed! Whom should he meet at the end of the wharf but the Federal Fisheries Officer who, upon viewing the live and wiggling lobsters, says: "Well me Laddie I got you this time - with two live lobsters three weeks after the season Closed!"

The Newfie says, "No - My Son you are wrong! These are two trained lobsters that I caught two weeks before the season ended."

The Fisheries Officer says, " Trained like how?"

"Well my son, each day I takes these two from my house down to the wharf and puts them in the water for a swim. While they swim I sits on the wharf and has me a smoke, or two. After about 15 minutes I whistles and up comes me two lobsters, and I takes them home!"

"Likely story", the Fisheries Officer says! "Lets take them on down the wharf and see if it's true."

So, the Newfie goes ahead of the Fisheries Officer to the end of the wharf where, under supervision, he gently lowers both lobsters into the water.

The Newfie sits on a wharf piling and lights up a smoke, then another! After about 15 minutes the Fisheries Officer says to the Newfie, "How about whistling?"

The Newfie says " What For?"

The Fisheries Officer says, " To call in the Lobsters"

The Newfie says, " What Lobsters?"

I took this photo from my car while we were driving around Portland yesterday....(yes, there's a real person in there!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Can we eliminate MARCH ?

WATCH OUT ! Here it comes...the ugly month.
Now, it may not be ugly where you live, but here in Maine it's hideous. You start to see it along the side of the roads. That's the worst.
We're starting to have temperatures hovering around 32.7 ยบ for about 5 minutes everyday, which is starting the BIG MELT. All the nice looking snow disintegrates, exposing the crap underneath.

The crap is black and ugly; the antithesis of what snow should be. And it'll be here all of March and even into April. Oh yes, we will get more snow-maybe lots of it-but it'll start to melt again rather quickly and expose the dark underbelly, the sewer of the snow world, the crap.
But not to worry. After the snow is almost gone, we have THIS to look forward to...


In the words of Rosanne Rosannadanna:


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Designer Clothes Pins...sometimes I wonder...about me!

  Sometimes I wonder, while I'm Downeast Doing Stuff, while I'm making, doing, sewing, designing something...WHY I'm even doing it? Sometimes I have no good answer other than, "I just like it."
  I guess that's good enough.
  I found this idea on a wonderful blog. If you like doing stuff, especially crafty things like I do, check out LISA'S blog. It's a wealth of information.

  On her February 1st post, she made fancy clothespins. I thought that was so cool, so I tried it.
You can go and see how she did it. This is how I did it......
I had a collection of tissue paper that I've been saving. Anytime I got a gift from someone with unusual tissue paper, I saved it.
Then I took the clothes pins apart. SAVE  THE  METAL  SPRING!@*%   Mine disappeared while I was decorating  and I had to dismember  another poor clothes pin !

Here are the supplies I used.

I tore the tissue paper up into small random pieces. I applied Mod Podge to the wood and put pieces of tissue paper into the wet Mod Podge, smoothing it out as I went along, wrapping the tissue paper all around the wood willy nilly. I even used my fingers to smooth it out.
Cover all the wood surfaces. Let dry on something plastic, metal or glass. (If you place it on paper to dry, it's going to stick.)
  DRY really well. (like overnight) (or here)

 Put the spring clips back on. THAT  WAS  THE  HARDEST  PART !! REMEMBER what it looked like before you took it off. You might have to find the groove in the wood with your fingernail for the wire to sit in. I'M TELLING YOU, IT WAS REALLY HARD. YOU HAVE SOME TRICK FOR THIS, LISA ??

  Well, that's it.
  I like my plaid one the best.

Now, what would I use these for? Certainly NOT for hanging clothes, God forbid. I will use mine to close chip and pretzel bags...you know...the important stuff !

other things you can do with clothespins:
Put them on your face. (click)
Make a gigantic outdoor sculpture. (click)
Stop smelling something. (click)
Hang up your underwear. (click)
Put your quadruplets in a basket and then put some clothespins around them. (click)