Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and coole

It was an intense few days. Most of it was great; some of it was sad. My grandmother and great-uncle are quite ill, and it’s painful to watch them fade. All we can do is as much as we can do.

Off to an early start last Thursday. I love to leave early in the morning, because the roads are clear, for the most part, and one can make good time. The drive all the way up to Kittery was pretty smooth. We stopped and did some shopping in the outlets – Lindt chocolates is a favorite. Then, it was on to Stonewall Kitchen, to stock up. Yes, their products are distributed down here, but I love shopping at the Company Store in York. Especially since they sell the anthology in which I’m included, Simple Pleasures of the Kitchen. While we were there, they invited us to a charity pancake breakfast on Saturday, which sounded terrific.

We wound up through into Ogonquit, where we stopped for lunch at The Egg &I. That has become one of my favorite restaurants, and I’m so excited to write an article about them. The food is great, the atmosphere is great, it’s just one of the best eating experiences in the northeast.

We headed back to the highway at Kennebunk and hopped off again at the exit to my grandmother’s. We stopped first at a few places and did a bit more shopping, and went over near Lake Sebago to Standish, where Korner Knitters is located. If you like knitting, it’s one of the best places – and they do mail order. Never fear, I’ll do an entry all about them for The Tactile Muse. Bought some yarn, and then headed to my grandmother’s.

She needed some errands run for her, so as soon as I got the car unpacked, I headed out again, list in hand. Ran the errands, got in some food, and we all had a lobster and clam dinner together. Her Parkinson’s is quite severe now, and she’s uncomfortable going out to eat. She’s always trying to get us to eat out and then she’ll eat by herself, but we’d rather get take-out and all be together.

The next morning, after breakfast, we left bright and early for Boothbay Harbor. What a lovely drive! That section of Maine is so gorgeous – I’ll have to post photos. We stopped at one of my favorite second hand bookshops up there – the bookshop connected to the library. It’s in a frame house in the center of town. They have all sorts of books inside, but outside, they have shelves of paperbacks for only ten cents, and you can just drop your dimes in a small box fastened to the door. It’s terrific. I wrote about the place for The Crafty Traveler a few years ago.

We walked around the town for a bit, including Sherman’s Bookstore, which is a wonderful, huge independent store that has a terrific selection of Maine-based authors as well as everything else. They also have an old-fashioned stationery department, which is one of my favorite things.

We had lunch at the place my friends own, The Townsend Avenue Coffee House and Wine Bar. Another place I’ve written about for The Crafty Traveler. It’s owned by two friends of mine who chucked their lives on Broadway a few years ago to live in Maine and run this place. It’s wonderful – the décor is lovely, the vibe is perfect, the food and drink are delicious. And it was great to visit with my friend and catch up. It made me realize how much I miss him! Turns out, they’ve started to do events with Sherman’s Books! How perfect.

Ran back to Sherman’s to pick up an anthology of Maine authors, called Harbor Journal, Volume I.

We got back in the car (even the parking attendants are nice in Boothbay Harbor) and started back. We stopped in Edgecombe, at the Edgecome Potters Galleries and saw some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen in my life. I bought two small pieces – I could have easily spent tens of thousands of dollars there. The work is stunning, and each piece is unique. The glazes are magnificent, and the kinetic sculptures – let’s just say that, once I have my house, the cats will have plenty on the walls they can watch!

Our next stop was at Winters Gone Farm in Wiscasset. It’s an alpaca farm. I was interested in going there because I know very little about Alpacas, although I do love the yarn. I fell in love. Those animals are so sweet, so funny, and have such personality. I mean, I fell in love with the breed. And the people who run the place, Skip and Judi Taylor are so warm and so friendly – no wonder the Alpacas are so happy there!

Came back, made dinner for my grandmother and great-uncle, and we had a visit. Unfortunately, they’d been too ill to come along on the day trip – anything more than twenty or thirty minutes is too much for them to handle at this point.

There’s an event in early September that I’d like to attend in Boothbay Harbor – I’m going to see if I can swing it. I’d also like to take a trip on one of the schooners, to see what that’s like. What can I say? I’m getting addicted to the whole sailing thing.

Saturday, we left early and headed back to Stonewall Kitchen in York for the charity pancake breakfast. It was only $3 per person, and you waddled out of there – pancakes or waffles heaped with fruit (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and whipped cream, coffee, and juice. We ended up sitting with people from Rye, NH! Which was funny. It was a great event, and the co-founders of Stonewall, who put it all together (and stood there making the waffles all morning) are just terrific.

We took a detour into New Hampshire for a couple of hours in order to take a look at a piece of property. The house and property are great – the location’s not what we want. Which is a shame. Also, having that much land, while it would be great, would mean a bit of a change in life direction from what we expected – not necessarily a bad thing, but it requires some thought and planning.

The rest of the ride home was arduous. So much traffic and so many accidents. We passed at least three fatalities. Cell phones MUST be banned in cars, because people behave like idiots when they drive and talk on the phone – or, I should say, even more like idiots. A $100 fine isn’t enough – suspend the license. Too many people are dying because of distracted drivers. Accidents caused by cell phone distractions have now surpassed DUIs. For crying out loud, most people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – they certainly can’t drive and talk on the phone.

So tired when I got home, but boy, were the cats happy to see me. I’d bought them lobster-flavored treats in Boothbay Harbor, which they enjoy. Got right back to work on Confidential Job #1, some more pitches, and some more work on the various articles I’m juggling. Caught up on some correspondence. Tweaked the DE website to update the “news” a bit.

This week could be busy and distracting – I got a call from the theatre while I was in Maine – someone’s gotten injured, and I may have to go in and do shows this week as well as juggling the articles. I also have a couple of newsletters to work on, and a few press releases. It’s good to be busy, though, so I’m not (really) complaining.

They’ve found asbestos in this building (gee, there’s a surprise –not), so they’re sealing off the basement to do the removal. I’m looking forward to getting the heck out of this Dodge.

I’m going to work on articles, press releases, Craigslist ads, and newsletters today, and then I want to re-write the end of Chapter ten of Tracking Medusa and, hopefully, move on.

My desk will need to be excavated soon, too. Things are stacking up again so badly I can barely see the screen.

But I’d rather be busy.

A copy of Mark Chisnell’s novel The Delivery arrived – I’m looking forward to reading it.

Oh, and before I forget: “Pauvre Bob”, one of my horse racing stories, will be in the Full Circle anthology, available on August 1. Stay tuned for more information.