Thursday, September 26, 2013

The China Cup

-Take your time and, Rosemary, be careful. 

On Mum and Dad's nights to host Bridge Club, it was my job to set out the cups for tea and coffee.  Housed behind glass doors in the buffet, they were strictly off limits in the course of daily living.  Those cups were Mum's pride and joy.

internet, stock photo

Every time I opened those buffet doors, it was like opening a treasure chest.  Gingerly, I transfered one cup at a time from the buffet to the dining room table.  The piled saucers were a challenge, because they didn't nestle securely together--not one was a duplicate of any other.  Two hands and baited breath were needed to move them to the safety of the table top.  Then the fun would begin.

Here was the small, pink one, with the raised design.  Where was it's matching saucer?  Oh, the lime green one with the white polka dots--my favourite.  It seemed there were dozens of cups to match with the appropriate saucer, each one different from all the others.   Wide, shallow cups.  Deep, small cups.  Solid colours.  Floral patterns.  There was even a scottish plaid one that I didn't exactly NOT like, but it was one I didn't linger over.

Mum's collection started when she became engaged to marry.  In the 1940's a single tea cup and saucer was the gift-of-choice for bridal showers.  When I married in 1975, I received 3 crock pots and 2 toaster ovens--not one tea cup.  Alas, my buffet had a matched set of good china, all the cups mirror images of each other. That is how it was for many years...until....

Grandma Grace noticed my plight.  She bequeathed me a Royal Albert cup and saucer.  It was a hand-me-down.  It was old.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  I loved and cherished that one special cup and believed my collection had begun at last.

Not many moons after that thoughtful bequest, Mum and I were ensconced in the living room with tea and cookies, catching up on life with busy families.  The kiddos were all outside with the dog.  The men were in the kitchen doing manly things.  We were enjoying that peaceful lull before suppertime madness would set in.  Our peaceful interlude was rudely interrupted with a shattering crash from the other room.  We looked at each other in mild surprise.

-What was that?

-Not to worry.  It was only an old tea cup.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stonington in the Fog

Our summer was so incredibly busy--living, loving, laughing with our kids and grands for over three months--it is only now that I can sit back and peruse my collection of photos, remembering the happy days not too long ago.

Captain Gail was my partner-in-crime on this outing.  It was too foggy to go by boat, so we packed up the car for a day of adventure.

Stonington is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States, located on the southern portion of the island of Deer Isle. The population was 1,043 at the 2010 census. Wikipedia 

Established in the 1600's, Stonington is one of the oldest fishing villages in America.  A visit here is like walking back into history: the meandering streets with no predictable patterns, the old, colourful houses facing the sea so returning sailors could pick out their family homes from afar off, the schooners at anchor off shore, the grizzled fishermen plying their trade, even in today's unforgiving economic climate, just as they have done for centuries.

She looks like a ghost ship, elusive in the mist...

The islands seem to be floating over the water-- neat mirage effect of the fog.

So how about you?  Are you back into the swing of fall in suburbia?  What are your favourite summer memories this year?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fun At The Boat Show

Meet Danny...

I saw this guy walking, somewhat self-consciously, around the Newport International Boat Show yesterday and thought he looked kinda weird in a coat and tie with wet boots.  Today I found him in his element...selling Dubarry boots of Ireland.  Who knew?

"Dubarry’s yachting footwear is enjoyed and trusted by sailors worldwide. Even in benign sailing conditions, sturdy footwear is a must. Ticking all the technical boxes, the original Shamrock boot from Dubarry made a massive splash on the coast – the first ever GORE-TEX® lined, waterproof, fully breathable yachting boot developed anywhere in the world."  Dubarry of Ireland...

Danny gave me the whole sales pitch, impressing me with the lengths to which his tech guys go to learn what sailors need for dry, safe foot wear at sea.  He said they monitored the sailing races and learned crews were duck taping gators on the front of their boots and duck taping the toe caps and heels of their boots too.  The newest in safe, dry sailing boots, is now available to you and me for a mere $500.00!!!!!! 

So, Danny, are  your feet dry?
They don't pay me enough to stand here with wet feet!

Hubby and I love the Newport Boat Show.  We've come almost every year since before we commissioned Steadfast.   In the past two days, we learned all we need to know (hopefully all) about towing Pescatora behind Steadfast, and who will be our supplier for all the gear we will need.  We have up-graded our emergency medical supplies.   In theory, we will now be able to deal with cardiac arrest, anaphylactic shock, and bronchial spasms.  Of course, I retired as a registered nurse last December.  People will have to be conscious enough to sign Good Samaritan Waivers before I can help them.

This is our last hurrah for the summer boating season, unless our #2 Son takes us Sailing on Lake Ontario when we get home.  We will be land based until Christmas.  Stay tuned for stories of Autumn in south-central Canada, winter in the Rocky Mountains, and missing the Grands.  We'll be back on the water January first!  

In the meantime, I'm thinking sunshine yellow quilt tops:  Fabric fun.

Have you packed away your white slacks and flip flops?  Do you still cook on the BBQ in the off season?  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  Isn't it amazing how quickly the seasons fly by, one after the other now that we aren't 16 years old anymore??????

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pond Island in Penobscot Bay

This sassy seagull refuged to give way as we made our way to the dock in Weir Cove.  A not-so-clear, but calm day on the Bay and we were off to Pond Island for a little jaunt in our red boat while the fog and weather held off.

I love stopping the boat off Spectacle Island to listen to the bells on this junction buoy.  The gentle gong sounds evoke feelings of calm and safety that I can conjure up from memory any time I need them.

Low tide and getting lower.

These orange and red kayaks made a striking contrast on the scrabbly, grey-brown beach.

If one has the man-power and a small enough boat, it's easy to deal with rising and falling tides.

We deployed anchors fore and aft and kept having to adjust them as the water levels got lower under the keel.

I can't remember being on Pond with such a very low tide, making for an enormous beach.

 What a striking skyscape!

These hale and hearty beach roses thrive in this salty environment.  

I was jealous of this pro's tripod, but it just seems like so much hassle to haul it around.

Believe me when I say, it was a challenge to whittle down the selection of photos to share with you today.  It was the perfect photo op and I got tons of great shots.

Pescatora has been hauled out of the water for the season now.  She is back at Pemaquid Marine for the finishing touches they hadn't had time for earlier.  Who knows if/when you might see photos of her surrounded by palm trees and big fish????  Stay tuned.

Do you like island hoping as much as we do?  Where do you like to come ashore and picnic or comb the beach?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cadillac Mountain

It seems we are alternating rainy days with sunny ones this week.  Yesterday, the sun broke through the clouds early on.  We decided a drive to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island was called for.

Before we could get on with our mission however, we had to return an over-due library book, repost mail in padded envelopes, fill out a forwarding mail card, visit to two different town halls to register the boat trailer and get a  license plate, drop off a prescription at Rite Aide, and get an oil change at the Prompt Lube shop.  Everything we needed to attend to before we could play was all en route, so we accomplished it all in timely fashion.

We lunched on the patio overlooking North East Harbor.  Of course I had to make my annual pilgrimage to the delightful boutiques around the corner.  Serendipity took over and I got to model a Cambodian Silk Ball Gown for the White Ginger FaceBook page, while Hubby waited not-too patiently in the car with Nelson.

We finally found our way to Cadillac Mountain.

Ahhh....  Now that Labor Day has come and gone, the crowds have thinned remarkably.  The press of people and cars is much more acceptable.  Note to self:  it's worth the wait to postpone a trip to the tourist highlights of this area until you can actually get to see past the throngs.

We made it all the way to the very top of Cadillac Mountain.

There were quiet spots to commune with nature, lost in wonder at the magnificence of Creation.

Yes, these 2 shots are similar, but different.  I couldn't get enough!

Looking west.  I spent much mental energy trying to figure out how to get here for the Golden Hours around dawn and sunset.  I am imagining the full moon shots from here too.  Any way I looked at it, driving the hairpin turns in the dark, either coming up or going down, would not be something I'd like to do alone.  Who would go with me?  

Green lichen on the granite rocks with run-off from the unusually wet weather.

The road home always seems shorter than the one heading away.
We made it back for a BBQ supper and a repeat episode of Boston Legal--always a nice ending to a beautiful day.