Monday, November 30, 2009

the pine jungle

The world has gone to the dogs, that'd be Gideon, Etta and "the pincushion" formerly known as Gracie. Each and every waking moment seems to tend to their needs, I have to keep them tied up, walk them and find some material, possibly not of this earth- that Gideon can't chew through. She even dismantles chains. These dogs came from a farm on a dead end road with acres upon acres to roam free, to dig up possums and chase coons, to wander aimlessly at will. But Maine changed their outlook, their free wheeling ways, their tender puppy naivete...

On a bad day, Maine is pretty. On a good day, Maine is beautiful. On a beautiful day, Maine is mind bending. On a day like Saturday- Maine is Maine, not to be taken for granted; ask the kayaker who started out on a mirror calm lake trip when suddenly, the weather changed and white caps flapped and flipped the little vessel, leaving the kayaker to tend with a Nor Easter... (Or as I like to call them: Nor east, nor west, nor south, nor north-STAY PUT!)

Or ask the motorist powering down Highway 9- lakes abundant, pine trees proudly standing thick amongst the moss covered loam or staunchly straddling ravines and rocky edges, the smell is of a pristine quality, the sights a most nourishing eye candy when suddenly, out of no where comes a beast who takes up half the road just by simply stepping from the timber to black top, in one single stride. Twisted metal and steel, broken glass and bones lay in a heap as the Moose glides as if a ghost, back into the pine jungle- while the motorist tries to piece together how a locomotive simply ran him over, out of no where it came with no warning, no cross road alarms, nothing to prepare him for the derailment.

Ask the new greenhorn, the farmer- the adventurer who throws caution to the wind, laughs at danger and spits in the eye of certain border crossers who are about thee most rudest, inconsiderate beings I have ever had to share the atmosphere with. Yes, just ask me about futile situations- why I can outrun the best, out jump the rest and crawl like a centipede when necessary by golly. But throw a porcupine in there, a walking-garbage-extracting-pin-cushion-pig and my friends, you can call me whipped. Porcupines are the original terminators, demolition devils, rooting sapsuckers and fortified with quills of mass destruction. How the heck you gonna make friendly with something like that?!

You don't. You quiet yourself and your pet while in their vicinity, which by the way- is anywhere they choose to be. And did you know they climb trees?! UH_HUH!! And did you know that ignorant labs such as Gracie can also climb trees?! ME EITHER!!!! Guess what happens when a porcupine and a pup like Gracie share the same branch? A whole lot of piercing going on....

Yep, Miss Grace has become an acupuncturists dream- why! she's got piercings fiercer than any punk rebel could ever even dream of! Nose ring? Please....Lip pierced?'re wasting my time! Nipple posts? Now you're just making me sleepy... Miss Grace's got piercings where no quill should ever go. Heck, she even swallowed a few...'cept for the ones that caught in her throat, stuck out of her tongue and gums and caused her mouth to be propped open on the 3 hour drive to the emergency clinic for such wayward, unanticipated porcupine/dog encounters.

Fun, fun, fun here in utmost respect, dear Maine. Please, please, please I pray- let me see the Moose a half mile before I need to, and please I pray- lead my Kayak away from temptation and tidal waves, but mostly dear Maine, I plead...deliver me and mine a remote wireless fence that might in time, contain my "girls" and perhaps, if it's not too much to ask- give me the million dollar question answered-
How the heck do you repel a porcupine???

Never wanted to make a million dollars before(- if I did, I'd just have to find all kinds of wonderful ways to give it away), but perhaps if I put my noggin' to the grind stone and came up with a sure way to piss off the porcupine into oblivion, I do believe I might be living in that house on the hill at Pocomoonshine.

Take care out there!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

and the soup.

Good morning!

My journey was a looooonnnnggg one...traveling with two giddy Labs and one little nervous terrier made for many stops, pee breaks and wrestling Gideon to the ground when she slipped her collar somewhere in upstate New York and tried to make a break for it, midst semis and oncoming traffic. Then in Oneida, an Indian woman who had a fight with her husband, decided it best to spend the night in the hotel parking lot, next to my pickup- with her jalopy running at full throttle sans a muffler. "Let the howling begin"- (Gracie woofed to Gideon), and so the police were called and I was almost evicted because my dogs were causing a ruckus. I explained to the authorities that perhaps if the non-paying guest would just shut her vehicle down and stop raising hell, all would be well. Thank goodness, that is what eventually happened. Peacefully finally at rest, the girls laid back down in their camper home and slept....ahhhhh, as did I.

One other incident bears recalling...Lake Eerie, it's blue boldness all along the turnpike- called to me, "Get off the turnpike, come to the water's edge, you must!" And so I did. For about two hours I exited via Route 5, all along the long lake's shoreline and exclaimed silently to myself-"This is utterly beautiful and vast, like the ocean! Somewhere I will stop and let these girls look at a real lake!"
The girls, Gideon and Gracie- did not find the enormity of the lake and white capped waves comforting. Matter of fact- they were terrified and would not dare step hide nor hair of their great paws into the watery edge. Miss Etta on the other hand- chased the tide, in and out- snapping and barking gleefully with her new found friend, Lake Eerie. Oh, and I stopped in a little hub for lunch and enjoyed thee most delectable soup my taste buds ever had the glorious pleasure to encounter- a steaming bowl of Butternut Squash with apples soup. My oh my, heaven in a bowl. The waitress, who must have had long days and little appreciation for her toll tending to customers- was dry at first, muffled almost. But! I found a crack in her solemn shell, and out came the sweetest soul thus far I had encountered on my trip. I remember she had a long red braid falling just to the center of her back and loose, untamed hairs tucked behind her ears in such a way that seemed as if she might not be able tolerate one more wild hair, with the exception of her newest She and I talked, me mostly...but the questions I asked her were just enough to get her juices flowing, oh how she melted. To be appreciated, I do believe- was a gift she had not encountered yet that day. I left her a tip, a simple act to show that one good egg might make up for all the hard boiled others in her day- and this sweetheart came out to my truck and actually tried to give it back to me. She said it was too much- I smiled and said it was my joy, that she was kind, that I had been traveling a great deal and her kindness had made my day, well that, and the soup. We both laughed, wishing each other well.

This morning found me waiting on the thin red line to appear over the Pocomoonshine mountain, the Big Fish said that is how the sun rises North East Maine, right over the rail of my Maine. I Maine. I Maine and exclaim to myself, no longer silently but triumphantly...I Live In Maine! To think that after all this time of longing and loving a little farm for 18 years, that I might find love the land, in the journey. Oh I have...oh I do...I want to live in Maine- living is large and lovely and magnificent and wonder-full.

More on the journey...when I get my laptop hooked up. I'm sitting in on the BF's computer...and may I add that the Big Fish greeted me with a sign hung proudly and prominently off the second story of his home, big as a bed sheet, painted with love. Can you imagine? Now I know why that sweet red haired lady cracked and appreciation kind of wraps you up and gets you glowing and warm like a flame in a wood burner. Speaking of to split some.

Take care-

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When Good Chicks Go...

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
AND thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in "it".
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Good morning,

One more time before I go, I've stopped in to say hello, goodbye...Sayonara; if it is to be, so be it.

Here's a low down on the high craziness that goes along with moving, relocating, shakin' down and moving on:

Bullshit is unavoidable. (A new adage to the phrase "shit happens")
I like my take on it, between happens and unavoidable, the latter is undeniable, therefore- prepare for the unexpected.
(Please pardon the cursing, though please know, those cuss words have a bit of grace mixed in too.)

Thick skinned people become thin skinned after too many sleepless nights, Veteran's Day Florist from Hell comments and haulers who never show up to take the stuff they promised to come and get, so at the zero hour, after selling truck- you have to find someone else to take the stuff- making the thin skinned wonder get on all fours and sob. Cleansing, yes- Confidence building-no.

There are friends, and then there are friends. Moral support, hand holding, hugging, kicking my rear when it needs kicked, all rolled up in a bundle of warriors led by our own personal wonderful don't know what I'd do without her- Mrs. Doubtfire: Audrey. ( More like Ms. Hopefire)

"What do you mean my coffee pot is packed?!" And where's the garlic press, and teapot, and where do I sit?, and that book I was reading? and has anyone seen my glasses? and my camera? no, no, no, don't pack my retainer-yes, I actually put that thing in my mouth!

And my personal favorite-

Old tractors such as Betsy look great all on their own, but when selling said tractor- location, location, location! So I parked the old girl in the old corn crib- my, my she's a beaut surrounded by ancient cathedral-like peaks and slats of light. Everyone that lays eyes on her in that situation would get all nostalgic and Must have her, right?! So I go out there yesterday, manipulate her starter, tap her hood, say a prayer, pull the choke, lift the lid and jiggle her ground strap (she loves that, gets her every time!) and with the hood standing up, she roars to life!

Unbeknownst to me, a bundle of mice and their huge extended family had moved right in there on top of old Betsy's engine, and when she roared to life they burst out of there like Jiffy Pop Popcorn hot on the stove without a lid. Good God, they were all over me-up my pant legs, hanging from my shirt, crawling on my hands. I screamed and screamed and screamed some more, but I couldn't let off of Betsy's throttle and well, I couldn't touch the mice either, I mean EEEWWWWW!!! I shook the rafters and my eldest daughter with my screaming, she came running (not fast enough I can tell you) And what does she do when she arrives??!!! Laughs, guffaws, holds her belly and serves her right- pees her pants laughing! And they're still everywhere...running on the running boards, coming down the wire, and these were not your little country/city cute little run and hide mice, no sirrreee, these were LEAPING MICE!!!! MIGHTY MOUSE MICE- every one of 'em were singing-"Here I come to save the DAY!!!" (I can only reflect back on my mice morgue, and this was nature's way of getting back at me), I surrender right here right now- no more frozen mice, no more traps, no more glue:BUT GOD AS MY WITNESS- I aim to find me the biggest, meanest, mouse inhaling cat and never will I be without one again., Nature against nature- mouse versus cat, 'nuff said. (And yes I wet my pants too.)

Believe me when I say, I've come undone. And I don't think it's the worst thing in the world. Balled up tighter than a Broody Hen upon her eggs- something had to give. I do. I surrender. Raising the White Flag. Rolling with it. Laughing 'bout it. Crying if it is to be.
See you soon, take care!

****(Attention please...this is the final installment of the Illinois truewonder, next up, new chapter, turning the page-Maine truewonder coming soon...)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Way We Get By

The Way We Get By - Click to Watch the Trailer

I wanted to get this on site, I feel it is well worth the attention. Perhaps on Veteran's Day, as I plan to do-you might consider watching this program. It will be nation wide on Wednesday on your favorite PBS station, beginning 9:00 PM Eastern Time and here in the central time zone at 8:00 PM.
This is an outstanding film about outstanding individuals giving our men and women in uniform encouragement in the form of meeting the plane at the Bangor Maine Airport, for every arrival and departure of soldiers. These folks have come together for five years, no matter the inclement weather- at any hour to remind our soldiers they are indeed welcomed, loved, appreciated and deeply valued for their service.
Semper Fidelis.

I will be unhooking the ol' computer on Thursday, so I will try to come on here one more time before the big trip and lay bare the story, the final leg, the move and everything that matters in between. Love and kindness, take care-

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.
Kahlil Gibran

There's a thinker with a cup of java thrown in. Huh...imagine a pimple, come on- hang with me here... a pimple that first erupts with much pain and redness, when finally it comes to a head- you realize that the most painful part is already over. Now you only have to live with an ugly blemish that will in time heal- both inwardly and outwardly. And once the thing heals, it's only remembrance is- frankly, you're glad that it's gone and perhaps now, you'll wash your face before retiring without fail, stay away from too much chocolate and be thankful your face is free of ugly zits!

Don't blame me for the crazy analogies, you came here- you're just asking for it! Anyway, once you've borne the pain- the task is at hand to complete the cycle and become a student of the lesson...or a victim of the pain.
So- here's where I'm at:
Purchased a new truck to replace the old one that my reckless son wrapped around an electrical pole.
(He's alright, I did not kill him...and I'm just as much at fault for handing him the keys to go to a football game.)
He's borne the pain...his lessons, long. I hope and pray he'll find out who he is beyond that day...
Auction folks came out yesterday and took the majority of "stuff" away.
(Antique collector through the years, don't need to haul what is no longer useful, though to a big old farmhouse- the furniture and such was quaint, shabby, sheik and comforting.) To a two bedroom cabin- a rocking chair, crocks, a massive amount of pictures, paintings and books- will be much more apt. Ahhh, the simple life of simple abundance...and yes snow, lots of snow!!!! Bring it on.
Went to the bank and said, "Lookee insurance check, a new truck and thank you so much for being the best bank a gal could ever have hoped for."
Athens State Bank is tops in my book, Mr. John Leinberger has been a trusted banker and friend. And, they hand write out all your receipts and call you by name...
I am dealing with Mayflower to haul my stuff to Maine
...with the promise of uncertainty in finding new truck with towing capabilities, scrapped those plans and called on the good folks at Mayflower.
From the car dealership to Mayflower to Athens Bank to my insurance carrier (Country Companies), may I just say one word about all these folks I've been dealing with as of late.
On a professional scale:
So you see, I have much to be thankful for. Beyond all that pain, I am still a student of gratefulness. Kind of wish the universe would change my teacher to Lottery Goddess though, then my lessons might become what to do with millions of dollars! I'm ready universe, I'm ready!!!!
Although I do tend to cuss alot these days, millions of dollars would just add to my language dysfunction right now...but I'm willing to risk it.
By 7:00 AM, I have to take the Labs to the vet for a bit of nipping and tucking, so I'll leave you with this quote:
Fear accomplishes nothing.
And a laugh....

"I'd smother me grandmother for a meellion dollars!"

Take care!