Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 10.141: It's probably not what you think

I love it when our parcels have strange signs on them, but this might be my new favourite:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Day 10.140: Flowers and birds on the Riverwalk

It was a bit of a shock to our systems to be back to work/school etc. today. Instead of dwelling on that, here are some photographs of birds and flowers from our sunny walk on Saturday:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Day 10.139: Prime Angus

The Memorial Day parade was a rather soggy affair. It was also (probably not coincidentally) rather smaller than in recent years. Still, we stood and watched the veterans, a US senator, fire departments, a couple of dance schools and a few scout troops march by.  There was also a wolf - probably happy to have cool weather and a redneck limo which - to add something to the already striking effect - was mooing as it passed us.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Day 10.138: Exile #2's Sunday Column #178

Exile #2 writes...

Yesterday's walk by the river brought us out near the newly opened Colombian cafe that I had read about a couple of weeks back. So, what else could we do but drop in and try it out? E5N1 wasted no time in finding out whether they had dairy free milk and finding that they did, ordered a milky coffee sweetened with caramel.

Exile #1 and I also ordered coffees and we spent a happy half hour reading the menu of smoothies and snacks like arepas and tamales, that will definitely tempt us to return. They may have some competition though, as two more cafes are set to open shortly. It seems our sleepy little town might be waking up.

The neighborhood is certainly abuzz this weekend, in preparation for Memorial Day tomorrow. Our neighbors are putting up bunting and mulching everything in sight. Unfortunately, it sounds like this is one parade on which it will rain but that hasn't deterred us in the past and probably won't this time.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Day 10.137: Saco Riverwalk

It was near high tide when Exile #2, E5N1 and I decided to go out for a walk this afternoon. Exile #2 suggested we try the Saco Riverwalk again and it was the perfect choice.

The river was in flood due to the extremely high tide and there was evidence of the even higher flood waters from the last few days. Also the waterfall at the island was in amazing form.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 10.136: Mustache Day

At dinner time yesterday, E5N1 informed us that today at school would be "Mustache Day" so naturally our British-English thoughts turned to how we could manage for him to wear a moustache.

We found one attached to a nose and pair of glasses, but they were broken, so we enrolled Exile #3 to put her make-up skills (and make-up) to good use. Here was the result as I saw him onto the school bus as the rain was stopping after a stormy night:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Day 10.135: Throwback Thursday - high waters

Not too far back - just 12 days ago, we saw the river in violent looking form at the mill.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day 10.134: School Board

This evening we went to City Hall to the School Board meeting to see E5N1 and his classmates do a presentation. They did great and what a fantastic experience for a group of 10 and 11 year olds!

City Hall, waiting for the meeting to start, presenting some data on education and water, and wearing a blue wig and playing catch with a giant ice cube:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day 10.133: Coastal hazard message

We're a long way from the UK. This becomes obvious when things occur in our families, or when tragedies are in the news, or even when we are trying to find a timezone intersection to make a phone call. Sometimes we are reminded when we get a weather warning like this one (from a COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE sent late last week):


I had no idea paddling could be so dangerous.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Day 10.132: A (reluctant) trip to the beach

The weekend was kind of busy, but four of us made time for a very quick trip to the beach while Exile #3 was getting ready for her audition. Exile #4 was not too happy about it, although I think her actual grumpiness had worn of by the time I took this and even her fake grump was cracking:

It was rather beautiful and we all had a good (brief) time there before we had to head back.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day 10.131: Exile #2's Sunday Column #177

Exile #2 writes...

So, today Exile #3 and Exile #4 both became adults - well, in the context of church anyway - along with 10 other youth from a neighboring church and ours. It was a great celebration, a lovely blending of the other church's more formal elements (E5N1 was intrigued by the organ, and was given a small demonstration when he went to take a peek afterwards), and our more informal ones.

When the youth were called forward by the pastors, along with their parents and sponsors, I was struck by how many people were involved in getting to this point, not including godparents (who in our case were rather distant!), family, church family and many, many friends. We are very grateful for the international "village" that has contributed to who Exile #3 and #4 are.

After the confirmation, the youth were presented with stoles incorporating squares they had drawn themselves, and Exile #1 and I had the privilege of singing a song to reflect on the occasion. That just left the important business of celebrating with cake!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 10.130: An audition and the evening before

The girls' confirmation weekend has crept up on us as a result of all the other things going on. The last of which was early this afternoon when I left Exile #3 here:

where she was auditioning for another year in her student dance company. Although the outcome of the audition was not in much doubt it is a serious affair with guest judges and choreographers and high expectations. It went well as far as I heard.

Almost straight after that, we set out to church to set up for the confirmation dinner (the service is tomorrow at the church who shared in the confirmation programme with ours).

Here are 11 of the 12 youth who will be confirmed tomorrow including Exile #3 and Exile #4:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 10.129: Channels are usually miserable

Somehow it seems we have gone from winter-coat weather to where-is-there-a-room-with-AC weather in the space of about a week. Yesterday we were definitely appreciating the cool school auditorium after record breaking 95°F temperatures.

Today, was not so hot, but still nice enough for grilling, eating on the deck and then cutting the grass while the kids all played a complicated variant of Mother May I? for quite a long time:

Winter quickly turns to summer around these parts - there are not many happy medium days.*

* This Dad-joke pun for title-watchers has been inspired in part by the wonders of Google Translate Sings - this one is our favourite.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Day 10.128: Honored

Another day, another trip to see Exile #3 standing on the auditorium stage at her school. Tonight it was at the Freshmen Awards where she received an award for excellence for her history class.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Day 10.127: Choral

We went to the second of two sold-out performances of the choral program at Exile #3's school this evening. The two audition choirs were followed by Exile #3 and a few of her friends for the Concert Choir:

The whole evening was great - and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Day 10.126: Marsh wildlife

Some sightings at Scarborough Marsh on Saturday (including a glossy ibis, a willet (probably), a loon, a bluebird and some migrants from New York):

Monday, May 15, 2017

Day 10.125: Farewell

We said goodbye to our friends in phases this morning as we left for work and school. Exile #2 saw them off soon afterwards with most of their belongings. Sadly for us (especially E5N1) - but probably for the best - the two year old was not among the things that stayed here accidentally.

Although I posted it before (in still form) this was just too good to pass up:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Day 10.124: Exile #2's Sunday Column #176

Exile #2 writes...

It maybe wasn't the weather we would have hoped to offer our guests today, but we made the most of it, with a trip into Portland for HopeGateWay, then home for food, chatter, and games. E5N1 has had a wonderful time hanging out with our smallest visitor (the feeling has been mutual). They have danced, played, drawn, and enjoyed many giggles. But as Exile #1 commented yesterday, boy, has she made him look enormous.

Today has also been Mothers' Day here in the US, so it has been fun to have the reminder of what life was like during toddler times. This year, two out of the three of ours will be teens - yikes! Where does the time go?

Our friends sadly leave us tomorrow, but we wish them safe (and swift) travels, and hope to see them again soon.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Day 10.123: Dancing

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon at the dance studio, but there was little-to-no dancing going on - rather it was the annual photo day.  At home, however there was dancing - as you can see from this of E5N1 with his little friend (doesn't it make him look enormous?):

We also managed a walk and dinner - of both of which I have photos waiting for some attention.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Day 10.122: Visitors!

This young lady (showing us how to eat a bread roll with a fork) spent almost the whole day in a car (with her parents) to visit us from New York City. They arrived rather later than all had hoped but we've already had lots of fun!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Day 10.121: Winner (with fliching thythm)

Yesterday a parcel arrived addressed to E5N1. It was a prize for collecting all the state stickers from packets of Halo mandarins (which he eats daily whenever possible and sometimes three at a time), attaching them to a downloadable map and sending them in.

His prize included some vouchers for more Halos, a basket and this spectacular flashing water-sensing cup:

The instructions caught our eye. They started so well, but after the alcohol, things seem to fall apart fairly rapidly:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Day 10.120: Coordinated

I was referring to the colours, but his hand-eye coordination must have been pretty good as well for him to build this:

In other news, how can we be more than a third of the way through 2017 already?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Day 10.119: Misty morning run

Getting back in the habit of running in the morning is good for my soul (and my body).