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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First lobsters of the season

The weather has delayed our first lobster feed. Today we got a break around midday and scrambled around to get everything in place. I say "we', but it was really the Dunns and the Roths that pulled it all together. It was the simple clams, no pie, just a lobster, an ear of corn, grapes and Bing cherries for desert with a mint to finish. $23.00 per couple! At this time of year the lobsters are all hard shells. They have not yet molted into the new soft shells. The down side is that it takes more effort/strength to crack the shells. You need tools. Bare hands are not sufficient. The good news is that they taste better, have less water, and the meat is firmer. I had a female, and the roe was just heavenly.
School is going well. The days are long. Six hours is a long time at the blackboard. In addition there have been many hours of preparation time. I think that the kids are learning some geometry. At least the teacher in charge of the math summer school, who spoke with some of them, says she thinks that they are "getting it". I hope so. It has been more work than I anticipated; plus it starts at 0730 each day!
Cindy arrives tomorrow for a week. We can't wait.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Back to school

I haven't posted for three days for two reasons. First, the weather has been consistently dreary. Dreary weather is not a depressing event, however. We have a cozy abode, a fine view, and several close friends here with whom we share lifestyles and interests. The weather does cut down on photography. The second factor is that I have been out of gas in the afternoon. Today I actually scheduled a nap. The reason is that I have been teaching summer school at the Belfast Area High School. There were summer schools offered there for math, science, English and social studies. In the case of math there were about a dozen and a half in all of the various math subjects. One teacher was going to handle all of them in a "one room schoolhouse' approach. After I volunteered, they broke out the four geometry students and left her with about dozen or so students taking several levels of algebra. So from 0730 to 1330 for eight consecutive weekdays I am teaching geometry to four students who have just finished their sophomore or junior years. I have done a lot of teaching and tutoring at several levels, but this is as demanding as any I have ever done. I confess that part of the problem is a reduced level of stamina, but the task would be challenging for any teacher. To give you an idea of the intensity, my new Kindle arrived Wednesday but I couldn't get to it until Thursday. I'll recoup over the weekend. Tomorrow we are going to move fore and aft and relevel the rig and defrost the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's rainy season in Maine

Today the six of us (Roths, Dunns, and Cloutiers) decided to ignore the weather and make a day trip in the Roth's six-seater. We headed south and made our first stop at Lincolnville Beach. Durelle wanted to visit a favorite pottery shop. I snapped a picture of a place there that apparently offers Bud Light floats...didn't try one. I also took that shot of a mallard behind the store. We then wandered down to the lovely village of Camden and went immediately to the Waterfront restaurant. In spite of a large fish (haddock) and chips, Dick and I were pressed into service to help Ann finish a huge bowl of steamed mussells. It was tough work, but someone had to do it. We then spent a half hour wandering the streets of Camden. I have included a picture of the Camden harbor taken from the restuarant. When we got back to the car, Eleanor Roth and Bernie Dunn decided that since we were nearly to Rockland anyway, we should drop down to Dorman's for ice cream. Ann and I passed; Durelle had a small cone; but the other three had large sundaes!!! I drove Dick's car back so that he could give his undivided attention to his sundae. We got back around 4:30 and, by mutual agreement, cancelled happy hour.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

49th Anniversary

Tonight we celebrated our 49th anniversary at Papa J's, the restaurant affiliated with the campground. In the foreground are Dick and Eleanor Roth, then us, then Bernie and Ann Dunn. You can't tell from the flash bulb reflections on the window, but the view out that window is of Penobscot Bay. The owner of the restaurant and the campground, Jim Baker, took the picture and even sprang for a bottle of Champagne to commemorate the occasion.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day trip to New Harbor

Today we left Belfast at 1030 and headed south to New Harbor. We stopped between Chamberlin and New Harbor to take some pictures of the Rachel Carson Salt Pond and some of the surrounding beach plums. The pond is recreated with each receeding tide which leaves the bowl in the picture filled with quite a sample of sea life. There is a picture of the New Harbor harbor. Notice the complete absence of pleasure craft. This is solely a working harbor with lobster pot buoys even in the narrow channel. Of course we had to stop for lobster rolls. I took a picture of this one after Durelle had had a couple of bites. There was no filler, a taste of lettuce and just a hint of mayonnaise. There must have been at least a half pound of lobster. We then headed down to Pemaquid Point. There is a shot of the surf with a patch of lupine in the foreground. From there we went to Damariscotta and the Round Top Farm for a pair of their famous ice cream cones. The last shot was taken on the way home between Damariscotta and Camden showing a front yard full of lupine. We got back just after three to find Bernie Dunn walking Belle. The sky was cloudless and the temperature was 75. Does it get any better than that? Unfortunately, the blog does not post the pictures in the same order as I see them when I am composing the post. But I guess you can figure out which description goes with which picture.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cold and Rainy

When we got up this morning, it was 52 degrees. The high for the day was 53! We went nowhere and did nothing. The bus was cozy, and we took a few walks with Belle, but mostly we stayed inside and read or watched TV. I finished the book review for the Charleston paper that I have been working on. The book is Idiot America, a strident tirade about the dumbing down of America. I am including a picture of a pensive Belle. It is a nice picture taken by Ann Dunn at a happy hour. It is worth noting that it is the first picture on which I have used "Photoshop". The original showed a tiedown for the Dunn's awning that sprouted out of her head like a unicorn. I removed it. If the weather improves, perhaps I can post a more enjoyable blog,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Inside Happy Hour

Saturday was a pretty, sunny day, but it was windy and cool. How cool was it? We had to have Happy Hour inside. We hosted four couples: the Dunns and the Branns who are seasonals and the Andrews who stop in from Lincoln, ME from time to time. We had two kinds of smoked salmon, sushi, and three kinds of homemade sausage. It lasted three hours. Then we took the dog for a walk. The wind has quit and the almost full moon evening was pleasant. I have three pictures to attach, but for some reason, the cantankerous machine won't let me. Two are pictures taken inside the bus; the other is a shot of an almost full moon over Penobscot Bay. I'll post this and add pictures later when I come overcome "the innate cussedness of inanimate objects".
You now note that I have added the pictures. I have always used Internet Explorer as a browser. This time I used Firefox, and the problem went away. I have no idea what went wrong.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Settling into a routine

We have been here five days. We've been to Bangor to pick up a couple of minor, routine items for the bus. We've had some clam chowda and some haddock...twice. Once via fish 'n chips at the Sea Dog brew pub in Bangor and I baked a couple of filets last night. We've done our grocery shopping for a while. It may be time to crank up the energy to give the bus a good washing...but not just yet.
This morning at 0745 I had an appointment with Butch Arthers, the principal of the Belfast Area High School. Summer school starts in three weeks where I hope to be a volunteer tutor. I hope the certification process (background check and fingerprints) will be completed in time. Sitting in the front office of a high school is a trip down the lane of distant memories...the girl coming out of the principal's office with her head down dabbing at tears, several harried parents dropping off forgotten lunches, late students signing in and getting a pass to go to their first class, the PA announcements and the pledge of alliegance. There was something Norman Rockwell-ish about the scene.
After the high school I went down to the Waldo County General Hospital and made an orthopedic appointment for the tender (torn/strained?) calf muscle. Along the way, in a nice residential area I saw a flock of a dozen or so wild turkeys. A couple of the toms looked to be twenty pounds.
I was back at the bus at 0830, a typical get up time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Day in Maine

As I mentioned yesterday, I should post a picture through the windshield. Well, here one is. You can see a couple of pictures and a very anemic African violet on the dash, but that is the view out the front window. The weather has warmed up a bit. It is 64 degrees at quarter till eight, and it was sunny all day. Jim, the owner, had to fix a water leak to our site today. That took an hour or so, but everything is fine now. We had a pleasant visit with the Dunns and will do some errands together tomorrow. Durelle is busy making spaghetti. Mart and Ann may notice that the vacant spot in the foreground is the one they used when they were here.