Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 8.263: ...and related fraud

I'm so glad this binder showed up again - it makes me smile every time I see it, "House purchase & related fraud"!

At least the investigators will know where to look when they finally catch up with us.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 8.262: I can hear the marketing people now...

..."No-one, no-one at all is marketing clothing for the 8 year-old toddler market. It's wide open for us!"

"Let's do it!"

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 8.261: Lunar hangover

Here's a hold-over from yesterday (I won't be considering a new career as an astronomical photographer):

The "hangover" was the effect of staying up too late watching the moon last night and having to get up and go to work today.

Day 8.260: Exile #2's Sunday Column #74

Exile #2 writes...

In the space of about two weeks we have shifted rapidly from needing the air conditioning units to needing duvets on beds and dressing gowns in the morning (I think that would be robes for US readers...). We even resigned ourselves to putting the heating on this morning for the benefit of those who have to drag themselves out of bed at 5:30 am.

Still, that means the trees are, at last, beginning to turn. Hopefully that will be perfect timing for the visit of Exile #1's parents this week. We are watching the maple tree outside our house closely. The oak tree, on the other hand, is providing a bountiful harvest of acorns, which the local squirrels seem to enjoy throwing at E5N1. We're not sure if they're taking aim or sharing with a fellow collector. Either way, there are plenty to go around.

Tonight, all being well, some of us will see the lunar eclipse (others have made it clear that they will be in bed and do not wish to be disturbed, thank you). Will you be watching where you are?

Postscript: we managed to stay up long enough to see the eclipse and briefly woke up two of the younger exiles so they could enjoy it too.

Editor's note: actual photos of the moon were obtained but will have to wait!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Day 8.259: Gilsland Farm Audubon Center

We last visited the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth back in last July. Today we went again to enjoy a perfect autumnal afternoon.

This is how it went:

and these are some more things we saw on the trails or in the community gardens:

There were preparations in progress for what we assume was a wedding (pig roast, band sound-checking, lots of tables with fancy place-settings) but we came home for another last cook-out of the season (I wonder if we'll have any more!?)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Day 8.258: Orange wash

Exile #2 wanted to wash the new orange sheet that just arrived for E5N1's bed, but she was a little concerned it might run. Her solution - a wash of entirely orange items.

Who would have guessed that was possible?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 8.257: An owl on top of a mountain

Remember when we hiked up Mount Agamenticus? It seems like a long time ago, but here is an image from the day I didn't use or tell you about. At the top in the ski-chalet style nature center, E5N1 made a barn owl:

I think he did a pretty nice job - and also with the gummy smile!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Day 8.256: Upgrades

The equinox was in the early hours of this morning bringing an end to summer that has held on to the last quite effectively. So it is appropriate that when I got up to run, it was the first time I'd needed a long-sleeved running shirt since the beginning of summer.

It was also nice that I got out of bed pain-free after a spell of lower-back issues. You may remember my comments about it and photo of my improvised standing desk. This week I swapped out the boxes and magazines for a more professional solution:

Quite an improvement.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Day 8.255: Another castle falls

Our walk on Saturday took us to the beach at Stage Neck in York Harbor. Since we were walking, we didn't have all our beach gear with us but the tide was coming in, so we had to improvise.

And improvise we did:

The girls were suggesting that we had built it too far from the sea, but very soon the moat was full:

Not long after that, the walls were falling:

It was soon completely surrounded:

and then...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Day 8.254: Music again

We've decided that it's time to start recording another collection of songs. Here's the view of the home studio this evening:

The fun is just beginning!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Day 8.253: Exile #2's Sunday Column #73

Exile #2 writes...

Well, we've come to the end of a lovely week spent with our friend, visiting from the UK. She couldn't have picked a better week really, as it's been almost unbroken sunshine, with a few pleasant breezes thrown in. She has hiked, biked, sailed with the mail to local islands, and sampled local artisanal food and drink. As well as a good boost of Vitamin D, she will be returning to the UK with a detailed knowledge of Pokémon, and who wouldn't want that? Sad as he was to say goodbye, E5N1, in particular, enjoyed going to the local station to see her off on the Amtrak.

We look forward to meeting up again next year on the other side of the Atlantic.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day 8.252: York Harbor

For our visitor's last day, we went to York Harbor where we walked the loop trail in Steedman Woods (which I referred to as being "a lozenge [shape]" - causing much confusion, discussion and amusement among the kids), then followed Fisherman's Walk to the beach.

It looked something like this:

The two herons are interesting. The larger one is almost certainly an immature great blue heron, but the smaller one (last two photos) is probably a young black-crowned night heron - a much rarer sight around here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Day 8.251: Another date night!

We were able to leave our guest to feed some pasta to the kids and send them to bed while we escaped for a few hours again this evening.

We went into Portland - where we enjoyed the views from the parking garage, visited the Portland Museum of Art (on Free Friday) and then had a walk over to Flatbread Company where we sat at the bar, ate and drank and took a happy child-free selfie!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Day 8.250: I hope he does this smile

Here is E5N1 with the balloon he came home from church with on Sunday.

For a while he was going to draw a face on it and call it Mr. Balloon like the last two helium balloons that came into the house, then he briefly toyed with a Ms. Balloon, but in the end he went with "Balloony".

It's photo day at school tomorrow (for E5N1 not Balloony) - I hope he does this smile!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 8.249: Scarborough Marsh at dusk (and beyond)

Our house-guest was kind enough to supervise the kids getting to bed this evening so that Exile #2 and I could escape for a while. We didn't make any grand plans, so we had a walk at Scarborough Marsh on the Eastern Trail and popped in for a decaf coffee afterwards.

This is some of what we saw at the marsh - we didn't see much on the way back to the car as it was basically dark by then!

Clockwise from top left: egrets feeding in a tidal pool forming in the Nonesuch River bed; a view across the marsh; a great blue heron hunting; two double-crested cormorants (not talking to each other).

I included the two birds in flight in the bottom left because it was interesting that there was no way I could have made a positive identification without these photos, but poor as they are I can identify the birds as a great blue heron and a northern harrier (thanks to that flash of white).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 8.248: Birds on the beach

It was a second day of work (for me) and school (for the kids), a second day of chores and taxi-service (for Exile #2) and of Portland-based group tours for our guest.

Here is a picture each of a semipalmated plover and a herring gull that we saw on the beach during our walk on Saturday evening.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Day 8.247: Evening stroll on the beach

After our hike on Saturday and some recovery time, we left the girls doing their homework and went for a short walk on the beach. We were sensible enough to have E5N1 dress for getting wet and he did not disappoint, despite declaring the water to be quite cold at first touch.

It was a beautiful evening:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day 8.246: Exile #2's Sunday Column #72

Exile #2 writes...

We woke to British-style drizzly weather but it didn't matter this morning, as we headed to our church in Portland. We were kicking off the new season of kids classes, so we were happy to find the church laid out around tables with pencils and crayons at the ready. We felt free to doodle happily as things went along.

Afterwards we headed downtown and had some tasty food at b.good. Kale and quinoa for me - pretty virtuous - even if it was decorated with chunks of bacon. However, we may have allowed ourselves to drift towards our favorite gelato place afterwards... Wandering back towards the waterfront, the drizzle set in again and we decided to head home.

Editor's note: The day ended with grilling in the rain.

Tomorrow is a school day for the young Exiles, after all. Four and a half days this week. Perhaps they'll manage a whole week soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Day 8.245: Mount Agamenticus

Our long-time friend and godmother to Exile #3 is visiting from the UK and we took her to Mount Agamenticus today. Some time soon, we must try a more extensive hike there, but for today it was around the loop trail, up one of the trails to the summit and a quick stroll down the road.

On the way, E5N1 enjoyed the page-by-page children's book posted around the loop trail, we saw a frog, a woodpecker, some vultures, chipmunks (not pictured) and a red squirrel. We enjoyed the views out to Mount Washington and up the coast to Wells and were a little unprepared for the autumnal leaf colours.

Here we all are at the summit:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Day 8.244: Should we be worried?

Should we be concerned when our eight year-old has created a collection of papers like these:

I'm sure it's nothing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Day 8.243: Sunset at the beach

My evening went like this. I left work at 5 pm, picked up Exile #4 at the karate dojo at 5:30, dropped her home at 5:45 and collected Exile #3, dropped her at the dance studio at 5:55 and then drove to a church meeting. I finally set foot inside the house around 9 pm.

I did not see the sun setting at the beach...but...a few weeks ago, we were walking on a bit of rocky shoreline when E5N1 called us over to see a rock "like a painting of a sunset". He was right - and here it is:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 8.242: Lost and found

Last November, after we had been in the house for seven months or so, we recorded a second album of songs as our little musical project. We managed this despite the fact that a large number of the cables, adapters and even microphones that we had used to make our first recording had not turned up despite plenty of concerted looking and the fact that we had unpacked everything.

We've now been here for well over a year and recently I started setting up to make another recording and found myself getting more and more annoyed that the items were still missing. I was almost at the point of buying some replacements when I decided to have an umpteenth look for the missing items.

Having turned out various closets again and opened bags and boxes I knew I had looked in before, I despairingly looked around the unfinished part of the basement. I saw the beer brewing stuff on the shelf and thought, not for the first time, that I really must brew some more beer soon. Then I realised that the brew keg was on one shelf and the bottles were on the next shelf and that didn't leave much of the kit to be in the still-sealed-from-the-move box.

I think you know where this is going. Sure enough, stuffed into the box on top of the remaining few bits of beer home-brew equipment was this box:

Exile #2 must have packed all the good stuff in there when she dis-assembled the recording studio as we were getting ready to sell the house and the movers must have slipped it in before taping up the beer kit box.

I suppose, to be fair, it is a beer box in itself.

Much more importantly, I now have all the recording equipment I have been missing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Day 8.241: A walk on the beach

The following took place last week.

Exile #4's friend and her family were visiting. We went for a walk on the beach.

Clockwise from top left: Enjoying the beach, attempting a river* crossing, more joining the effort, all but one sensibly turning back, the other one eventually making it back safely (if rather wet).

For the rest of us, we mostly enjoyed the empty beach, the sunset (and, not pictured, the sight of seals off-shore).

* It's actually a brook, but it was quite full that day.