Friday, August 26, 2011

Calm Before the Storm

As Hurricane Irene continues to churn up the coast and we batten down the hatches, I thought I would share some photos taken on Tuesday afternoon of a magnificent sky.

Are you curious about the origin of the phrase to "batten down the hatches"? As  the hurricane approaches, you can't listen to a newscast without hearing this expression. It was a nautical term.  When bad weather came, a tarpaulin was pulled over a ship's hatches and fastened down with strips of wood called battens, so "to batten down" means to secure property.

We'll just have to cross our fingers and wait to see what Irene brings to our area on Sunday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Help

I read Kathryn Stockett's The Help last year, and it was a good read.  A movie based on the novel was recently released.  While I always approach with trepidation movies based on novels that I have enjoyed, in this case, there was nothing to fear as the movie was wonderful. Viola Davis as Abileen, Octavia Spencer as Minnie, Emma Stone as Skeeter, and the rest of the cast were excellent. Overall, it was quite faithful to the book and definitely worth seeing. I would give it an A-.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lake Winnipesaukee

     At the end of last week, I spent a couple of days in the Lake Winnipesaukee region of New Hampshire.  My cousin's mother-in-law has a wonderful place right on the lake in Moultonborough. I was invited by my cousin to join her, her husband, her lovely mother-in-law, and perhaps the cutest little two year old boy you have ever seen. I had a terrific time. I know it seems unbelievable, but I didn't take any photos other than a quick family shot or two. Since I don't have any photos to post, let me give you a word picture instead. Just imagine sitting in a comfortable recliner on a deck overlooking a sparkling blue lake with mountains in the distance. The only time I raised my head from my reading was when a motorboat pulling a water skier went by, and then it was back to my book. . . total relaxation. There was a trip to the beach, a boat ride around the lake, dinner in Wolfeboro, stops at local craft stores, and of course, a visit to Keepsake Quilting. (There were two ladies in the store who had driven all the way from West Virginia to visit this quilting mecca. Mind you, they weren't in the area for any other reason than to visit this shop. Now I know my non-quilter readers will find that hard to believe, but my quilter friends will think that it wasn't all that  unusual.) All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a few days.
     The best part, however, was waking up each morning to the joyous sounds of my littlest cousin from downstairs asking, "Where's Janice?" He is the happiest little boy, and for some wonderful reason, he really, really likes me. :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

     Last Friday before heading home from the Boothbay Region, we drove up to Pemaquid Point to photograph the lighthouse there.  As hundreds of photographers before me have done, I climbed about on the rocks searching for a pool of water to get a reflection of the lighthouse.

Now if only there had just been a few white puffy clouds. Oh well . . . 
     I have visited Pemaquid Point a number of times, but the tower has always been closed. Friday it was open and visitors were allowed to go up in it. There were thirty steps in the narrow winding staircase and then you had to climb up six rungs of a ladder to get to the top.

Here's the view from the top.

It was a very cool way to end my mini vacation in Maine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (cont.)

Here are a few more photos from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  

       This little guy was at the edge of one of the tiny ponds.

     The garden has wonderful sculptures to delight the eye, and there are also spots of whimsy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

     The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a spectacular place to visit when you are in the Boothbay, Maine, area. There are 128 acres of flowers, gardens, and woodland trails to enjoy.

    There are butterfly, rose, sensory, and meditation gardens among others. The landscaping is simply magnificent. It is truly a paradise for gardeners and photographers. I can't imagine anyone not being captivated by this special place.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

  I just returned from a couple of days in one of my very favorite places, Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  I went with my friend Marilyn who had never been to Boothbay Harbor before, but she thought it was great. We stayed at Brown's Wharf, which to my way of thinking, has the best views of the harbor. 

     There is a restaurant on the premises, and the staff is always super friendly. Another great thing about staying here is that you can leave your car and walk down the road to the footbridge which will bring you into town where there are many shops and restaurants.

     Who wouldn't enjoy sitting on one's balcony looking at views like these?

     The sailing vessel in the photo above was carrying the flag of the Grand Cayman Islands, and it  dwarfed all of the other boats in the harbor.
     Of course, no trip to Maine would be complete without a little, or a lot, of lobster. Y'mmm. . . 

     And finally, what better way is there to end the day than by catching a beautiful sunset.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unexpected Sights

    Yesterday while stopped at a light in Quincy Square, I glanced up to see workmen atop the dome of the Church of the Presidents. It is called that because both John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams worshipped there, and they along with their wives Abigail and Louisa Catherine are buried in tombs in the church's crypt.

     Today I went to the Weymouth Farmers' Market to purchase some produce, and a group was doing taiko drumming.

     The market is smaller than some farmers' markets, but that's okay since it has what I want. It takes place every Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 behind the Town Hall, and there is always something interesting going on.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Horse Trailer

     While driving home from Vermont last weekend, we spotted this horse trailer which to me appeared to be smiling at us. Since I was driving, Laurel snapped this photo.

     Here's another photo from that trip. I have blue thistle like this blooming in my garden, but this was taken at the inn.