Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

For those of you not on Facebook, here are some photos of last night's backyard BBQ here in Portland Maine.  It was a balmy 76 last night and the reason we have Crash on a long leash is because we don't have the fence up yet.  Hopefully they will start on that the end of next week.  Wishing all my US friends and family a happy Memorial Day and Happy Monday to everyone else!

 Latest Hipstamatic iPod self portraint

 Our little back yard in Portland Maine

JK at our little table looking down from the back door

 I marinated the chicken in some local stout and BBQ sauce... it was great!

I also made some German potato salad and a chopped salad of tomato and avocado.

JK with the Green Man that Mark LiCalsi made for us years ago.

The lilac bush in our back yard from which I'm gonna get some clippings so I can have more lilacs!

Crash in the grass - we had to tie him up b/c we're still waiting for the fence guy to finish.   
We also put up some art last night - my friend Barbara's painting is over the fireplace now.
My friend Cherie's print of her mixed media painting of Denali looks great in the dining room.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting Better All the Time

Ok, I've still got lots of stuff in boxes, but in the background you can see that I've set up some shelves so eventually the stuff in the boxes will have a place to go!

This corner is almost all pulled together.  Glad that I've got the "desk" set up and am now hard-wired into the internet now.

Notice the fan in front of the window.  When it gets over 65 degrees in here (19 C for my Euro friends), it begins to get a bit "close".  I've got a guy coming tomorrow to figure out which window I should have redone so I can put an air conditioner in it that I will need to remove in the winter.  Even though it won't get as hot as it does in Sacramento, the  attic will be warm and I need to deal with it now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving on up...

This is what my studio looks like right now.  I think the space is smaller than my other studio in Sacto, so it will take a bit of readjustment and I'll probably have to lose somethings, which is not bad.  While I'm anxious to get things set up, I know that if I don't focus on getting the rest of the house unpacked, it will take forever to feel moved in.

I find that to really make good art, I need to have a certain comfort level with the rest of my surroundings.  For those of you on Facebook, I've post the photos from last Thursday when the moving truck caught up with us and delivered the goods! 

It's also interesting to go from a very horizontal way of living, as we've had out in California since 1984, to our current vertical way of life in a two-story house with my studio in the attic.  I'm sure all this will influence the art I will make in the future.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Tale of Traveling

Although I was born in Waltham, MA to an apparent family of Irish Travelers, Maine was the place that most firmly and lovingly stuck in my imagination.  Here's the list of places we lived until I was 17 and we moved in the middle of my senior year to Colorado Springs CO:

Hyanis, MA
Somewhere in between when I was under the age of 4
Fryeberg, ME
Cape Neddick, ME
Nashua NH
Chelmsford MA
Tyngsborough MA
N Chelmsford MA
Tyngsborough MA
Dunstable MA
Tyngsborough MA

No, my father was not in the military, but as we liked to say, he did a great disappearing act, leaving my mom with three kids.  I think we were probably moving to dodge creditors when he was around (until I turned 9).  But after that it was always trying to get a better job or a better apartment in a time when divorcees (as they were called then in the early 60's) were looked down upon and discriminated against.  And people wonder why I became a feminist?

After my high school graduation I spent several years ping-ponging between Colorado Springs and Boston - Alston and Cambridge specifically.  Then I lived in Houston TX, Denver, Boulder (too briefly), Greeley (too long) and Manitou Springs before meeting my hubby and then living in Denver with him before we moved to Milwaukee so he could learn how to be a plastic injection mold & die cast die designer from his Dad.  We spent five years there and really enjoyed the cultural scene.

We ended up in California as a default move as we had wanted to go back to Colorado but there was no work in his field.  I was working as a radio/print journalist at the time and I knew the stations HAD to hire more women as that's how I got into the field in the first place in Denver thanks to legal action by NOW since there were no women on the air in Denver in 76.  This meant I had a fairly good shot at getting a gig in a highly competitive field - and I was good at it!

We then managed to live in 7 places in the next 27 years, with our longest stay being 12 years at our last house in Sacramento.  Two of those places ended up just being "waiting rooms" before getting someplace else.

So to the strict Mainers, I am "from away".  But to the romantic Mainers, I tasted my first tang of life by the ocean here at a tender, very impressionable age that has stayed with me for many years now.  That's why I'm gonna proudly call myself a Maniac, defining it to be someone who used to live here and has boomaranged back home.  Yes, I heard the call of the clams of my childhood.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

So here I am in Portland Maine, along with my kitties Vivian and Bob.  We flew in on Friday and JK and Crash the dog are driving out here.  It's been an interesting experience "camping" in the house.  We've got a bed, a sofa and hassock plus a small table and 2 chairs in our large kitchen.  That's it!  The van with all of our stuff will catch up with us in about 2 weeks.  It's  a rather Zen experience in living, only the basics. 

The first two nights I cooked with the limited cookware we fed ex-ed out to the house - spinach and cheese raviolis the first night and the guilty pleasure of fish sticks, tater tots and salad the next night.  Tonight I had been planning to check out a nearby local restaurant that advertises it's cuisine as Brit-Indian.  But then I went to whole foods today and espied their salmon stuff with spinach and feta cheese and Castroville artichokes!  Yes, I cooked at home again tonight.  And there's a local "moon pie" defrosting on the counter for dessert to go with the rest of the bottle of red wine I opened.  This one is different than the traditional New England style... chocolate cake-type cookies with the cream filling.

The kitties - Bob and Vivian - are still freaked out about our plane ride and a new house.  They've been cowereing under the covers of the bed or (in Bob's case) behind the dryer in our 2nd floor laundry room for the past 2 days.  Vivie did come down the stairs of our little Craftsman bungalow last night, but has been reticent today after I moved their food and kitty water fountain out in the hall instead of being in the bedroom.  Tomorrow I have to move their food downstairs as that might be the only way to get them down here.  I miss them.

This is not to say my first few days were without incidents.  I hadn't realized (mis-communication with JK and our RE agent) the water to the refrigerator and the dishwater weren't turned on.  Today I spent about 3 hours trying to get the new washer to work.  Tried every combination of where the water valves to the washer should be set at and no go.  I ended up calling Sears and a repair person will be out here tomorrow between 1 and 5.  So I guess I'm not going out to run errends tomorrow and finish the registration process on the car which includes going to city hall to pay an exise tax and then over to the DMV where I will probably change my CA license for a Maine one.

I've also got an appointment with the guy from Lowe's to measure the stairs that we need to get carpeted for our 12 year old doggie.  And I might as well call a fence guy to have him come over to give us an estimate to finishing enclosing the yard before Crash lands.

But all in all I'm happy right now.  I'm breathing so much better than in the smog laden air of Sacramento and relishing the tang of the salt air and the cry of seagulls overhead.  Yes, I think Maine will agree with me.  Can't wait until JK and Crash are here, so the whole pack will be together!

This is what the exterior of the house looked like this winter when we made the decision to buy it.  Now the trees are budding out and bulbs are blooming.  I'll have to go across the street to shot a new photo this week.  I've already met some friends of the neighbors across the street and the neighbors on both sides.  I think this will be a great neighborhood to start our Maine adventure.