Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 14, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee: Summer Catch Up Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:03 am
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As I sat here Sunday morning drinking my coffee and reading Robin’s coffee share, I thought to myself, as I have many times this summer, write a blog post! But where to begin? I’ve been quite the slacker blogger as of late, with no real reason why. I’ve been active and busy and enjoying myself, but no real reason why I couldn’t write a post. So “stealing” a little bit from Robin in the title of this post, but giving her all the credit I made a decision to write this morning. My phone is a great reminder of everything I’ve been up to this summer so I’m starting there, with a selection of photos from the phone to bring me up to speed a bit. I have more shots in my “big girl camera” from some of the places I’ve been this summer, but I’d like to edit them before I present them – so maybe I will get a couple more posts done before summer comes rushing to an end and I imagine I’ll have even less time to blog.

If we were having coffee (or tea or whatever is your preference), I might say to you, pour yourself a good sized cup and strap in! I’ll probably ramble on for quite a while! If we were sitting together on my deck (assuming the awful humidity of late has passed) the first thing you might notice is the state of my “garden”. I made a decision not to plant one this year and the spot it usually occupies next to the deck is rampant with weeds at the moment. It was a sad decision, but that area would require more TLC than I was willing to give it at this time to make it flourish. The soil is spent and diseased and seems to be a breeding ground for awful things like tomato horn worms. Instead I bought myself two tomato plants and put them in containers. It seemed like a good idea back in June…
Early tomatoes
… but as summer progressed, not so much. I’ve gotten a few small tomatoes, but many have rotted right on the vine. I miss my giant beefsteak tomatoes I used to grow.

If we were having coffee, I’d say it has been a busy summer but I like it that way. One of the first things I did was an overnight Pickity Place visit with Jennifer and Renae. That doesn’t quite sound right – what I mean is, we went to Pickity Place and then stayed overnight at Renae’s house for a “girls’ night in”. I have some beautiful photos from that Pickity visit on the other camera that I haven’t gotten to editing and posting yet, but I think they deserve another post. I do have this picture on my phone of the yummy blueberry sour cream coffee cake I made for our breakfast the next morning.
Blueberry sour cream coffee cake

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I did something a little unexpected this year. I made a last minute decision to drive to Cape Cod for 4th of July weekend. Anyone from Around Here might say, “what are you nuts?” Traffic to the Cape on any summer weekend is notoriously bad, as you have to travel over one of two bridges to get there and it is an extremely popular vacation destination in these parts. But a long holiday weekend stretched out before me, my daughters had their own plans and my husband was working, and my mother (who lives there as I think you know) had vacation time. So off I went. The beach was crowded but pleasantly warm and breezey and we enjoyed some time together just the two of us.
4th of July on the Cape

Mom and me

If we were having coffee, you might be surprised to hear that I ticked off a photography bucket list item. I see all of Mike’s gorgeous waterfall photography and have been wanting to give it a shot. I finally did. The girls and I took Teddy for a ride to find a small waterfall just a little west of here.
Exploration walk
It has been pretty dry all summer so the fall wasn’t flowing hard, but we went before the drought really set in to this area. Again I have more photos waiting for editing, but here is one from my phone:
Waterfall

If we were having coffee, you’d learn that I had only one visit to Maine this year and it felt a little odd to me. For the past few years my sister has very kindly invited me to join her family for a few days of her vacation to Peaks Island. I did join Jennifer for a few wonderfully sunny days…
Peaks beach

Sparkly ocean

…and beautiful sunsets.
Peaks sunset 1

Peaks sunset 2

The reason it felt odd to me was that normally, I’d be headed back to Maine a few weeks later for my own family vacation on Hills Beach. Last year, however, the cottage we have been renting there for several years was sold to a new owner. The new owners wanted to use the place themselves rather than rent it out. Can’t say that I blame them for if it was mine, I’d surely do the same, but that meant we had to find a new place to go. Unfortunately, as is the way of many private, quiet beaches in New England, small, affordably priced cottages directly on the beach are few and far between. Could we stay somewhere else not right on the beach for a reasonable price? Sure. But this is the way I’ve vacationed most of my life since I was a child and I admit being spoiled by having this ammenity for my vacation. It is our one big yearly indulgence. So I hunted around on VRBO (vacation rental by owner if you are not familiar with this website) and found a place in Truro, MA. Truro is on the outer part of Cape Cod, very close to the tip that is Provincetown, or as I like to call it “the end of the earth”.
North Truro beach view to Ptown

If we were having coffee, you may have guessed by now that yes there are lots of pictures from this vacation, both on my phone and on the other camera. With how I’ve gone on and on, I’m sure you’ll be fine with the fact that I will share those in another post. I took myself on several adventures on that trip.

Now I’m sure that I’ve completely talked your ear off by now – hopefully I gave you some time to get a word or two in edgewise – I’ve got to tell you one more thing. Back at the beginning of our visit, I said the days are coming quickly where I’ll have less time to blog. If you’ve been visiting with me regularly for the last few years, you’re thinking, oh that’s right, school will be beginning again very soon. And you’d be right. But this year, for the first time in 11 years, I will not be returning to the middle school that has been my place of employment as a paraprofessional. I’m sure you remember the times I’ve mentioned that I am a certified teacher and the things that I’ve done to try to make myself more employable. In a couple weeks I will begin my new adventure as a 7th grade math and science teacher at a small private parochial school. There will be pro’s and cons to this position, but I’m looking at it as a new chapter in my professional life. I was at a crossroads where a decision needed to be made – stay in the job I’ve been doing for the last 11 years knowing that my chance for promotion to classroom teacher may never come or step outside my comfort zone to a new place with new challenges.

New adventure in the horizon

I made the choice to make the change. It is exciting, daunting and anxiety-raising all rolled into one, but a big part of my journey to me!

Although I take my inspiration from Robin, this post’s originating idea comes from Part Time Monster #WeekendCoffeeShare

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August 23, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 3

Visit

A visit to Pickity Place

A great visit – Renae and Meghan and I visited Pickity Place for a lunch date in early August.

Fresh

fresh

The water at Pickity tastes extra fresh with the addition of lemon and herbs.

Shadow

shadow

Hi there – that’s me taking a picture for you!

Sign

sign

A sign with my surname on it near the beach that I love so much… it must be fate, right?

Splash

splash

Dream

Dream house

This house was being built last summer and it appears it is still for sale. My dream house at the beach! A girl can dream.

Outside

outside

This prompt was a bit on the vague side, but I thought this would be a nice view to have whenever one is outside.

Details

details

Patterns left in the sand by the retreating tide.

Sunrise

sunrise

I made it outside just in time for this one!

Silence

silence

Stars on the water seemed to evoke a sense of silence. One night that week Sarah and I sat outside together, mostly in silence, except for the occasional, “OOH! There’s one!” while we watched the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Warmth

warmth

I stood in this spot one morning near the end of our week, feeling the warmth on my face and trying my best to appreciate the moment and just be.

This completes my August photo challenge. Remember, you have until September 5th to let me know about your photo challenge posts through either a pingback or comment to my original post, which you can find by clicking here.

August 22, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 2

Up High

up high

This was a lucky shot I happened to grab on a morning walk, and one of those times I wished I had the telephoto lens attached. I’m pretty sure this is a great egret that was soaring above my head.

Someone Special

someone special

Sarah on her 18th birthday, with her uncle Larry (my sister’s husband)

Throwback

throwback

This is a throwback to 13 years ago this month; the girls were flower girls for my sister’s wedding.

In the Sun

in the sun
Shiny water sparkling in the sun…. ahhhhh…..

Circles

circles

Spirals are kind of circles, aren’t they?

Adventure

adventure

I walked by this scene several times on my morning walk. It isn’t my adventure, but I’ve always thought it would be a great adventure to actually camp out on the beach.

Cool

cool

It was too cold for me to go swimming this year, but this is where Sarah found her cool on several afternoons.

Window Pane

window pane

A nice scene of a beach cottage found on one of my walks.

Simplicity

simplicity

A simple but lovely place to sit.

Before/After

before/after collage

Lunch, followed by dessert, at Pickity Place.

August 21, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 1

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 2:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I never thought this would happen, but would you believe I’ve finished my own photo challenge? I kept a photo of the list on my phone, and kept it in mind in my travels this month. The grand majority of these photos are from my vacation in Maine, which is what allowed me to actually complete the list. The other photos come from other good things that happened in August, like Sarah’s 18th birthday and a visit to Pickity Place.

Rather than overwhelm you with 31 photos at once, I’ve decided to present 10 at a time, with a bonus 11 in the third post. I’m going to present them in the order of the original list, but please know, for the most part there is no correlation between the dates on the list and the date the photo was taken.

Happy

happy

Sarah’s 18th birthday was a family BBQ, with this happy little Minion cake that made everybody smile.

Sidewalk

To the beach

Not a traditional sidewalk, but my favorite kind of sidewalk, my walk from our cottage to the beach.

Treasure

treasure

A “treasure” of the natural type, sand dollars found on my walk.

Floral

floral

I could’ve chosen from lots of pictures to fill the bill for this one, but I chose this one from Pickity Place because it reminds me of a photo that I would eventually like to take. Someday I want to find a huge field of sunflowers to photograph, but thise huge grouping of black-eyed susans was gorgeous and summery too!

Messy

messy

There’s lots of messes around my house I could have shown you, especially with laundry being done in full force in anticipation of the girls heading off to college in the next few days (wahhhhh!!!! 😦 ) but I’ve picked a view of my little “home base” at the cottage. This is where I had my breakfast each morning, and where I collected my supplies for the beach each day like camera, magazines, books, sunscreen etc.

Two

two

You probably could have guessed what I’d use for that prompt, right? If not my two beautiful girls, it probably would have been my two four-legged oafs, who will be almost as sad as me when the girls leave. (Cedric the cat has 4 legs also, of course, but he’s not an oaf)

Relax

relax

I took this photo kind of by accident, but I ended up liking it. I was playing around with the timer seeing what shots I could get from where, thinking maybe I’d take a shot of myself relaxing on the beach. Instead this is a shot of my favorite place to relax.

Blurry

blurry

I was actually thinking about what Mike wrote here “Blurry could be an easy one… put the camera in manual mode and capture an image out of focus” and that being the easy way out on that one. We had one rainy day on our vacation and I was looking out from our porch when I realized the rain provided the perfect opportunity for a cool blurry shot.

Horizon

horizon

Being at the beach, it was always easy to find a horizon shot. I liked what the boats and the lighthouse added to this one.

Feet

feet

Super easy shot for me. I always take pictures like this one. It’s like a summer thing for me taking pictures of my feet happy and out of shoes and relaxing. I even wrote a whole post about it last summer!

So there’s my first ten shots. Its a rainy day so I may just sit here and write up the other two posts. Not sure how soon I should send the next ones out to you. Got busy days upcoming – annual Lobsterfest party with great friends tomorrow. Meghan back to campus on Sunday, Sarah goes Wednesday – after that, a real look at How Life Will Be. 😯

July 21, 2015

Six Photos, Six Days, Day 6

Peaks Island Sunset

The people of the tiny fishing village came out to stare in wonder one evening at the strange occurance. Old-fashioned folks well versed in superstition were very familiar with phrases like, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor’s delight”. But what in the world was meant by “striped sun at set”? Should they take a bet?

Real story
After a month of what felt like non-stop activity, July rolled around and my days were suddenly much more free. Not to say I’ve been doing nothing, there’s still been enough to keep me busy, and that kept me from getting back to blogging sooner. A lovely respite arrived in the form of an invitation to visit my sister for a few days on her vacation on Peaks Island in Maine. I’ve been there before and shared it with you. It was a lovely two days of salt air breezes, walks around the island, relaxing on the quiet beach and taking photos like this gorgeous sunset.

And that nearly catches me up to where we are now. The annual camping trip happened about a week ago, and we have plans to head down to the Cape for a couple days soon. I’m afraid summer will pass by in a blur after that – Sarah’s 18th birthday and our vacation to Maine approach in August, and all too soon after that both my little birdies will fly off to college. Let me tell you, this mama bird is no where near ready for that.

August 18, 2014

Coming Home

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Day 58 of summer was that most bittersweet of days, the day to go home after vacation. I was up early and took pictures of the sun rising on what looked to be a beautiful day at the beach (of course!)
Sunrise between the islands

Sunrise at Hills Beach

Just me and the fishermen and the seagulls were awake at that hour. Shortly thereafter, the car was packed, the family piled in and we made our way back home.

The return home means chores to do – unpacking, laundry, mowing the lawn. Mowing the lawn, however, brought me a sweet surprise! While mowing under the various small trees and shrubs that surround my house, I saw a group of dark berries on the ground, and not those yucky weedy things I call “bird berries” because only birds like to eat them. I looked up and saw this:
Surprise find!
Black raspberries that I had not planted! I’m not sure where they came from – I grow red raspberries in my backyard. I’m sure birds must be responsible for the appearance of these vines, but I have no idea where they originated.

When I finished the lawn I went back with a bowl and happily picked a sweet treat.
Black raspberries

Yesterday, day 59 of summer, was the return to routine.
Meal planning and grocery shopping,
Meal planning

and back to blogging about my rapidly diminishing days of summer!
Blogging with a snack
(with a snack!)

The Maine Thing – part 3

Thursday, day 56 of summer, dawned sunny and windy after the storm the day before. The high tide in the wee hours of Thursday morning came up extremely high.
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It washed all the way up to the beach grass. You can see in this shot two of three kayaks that washed up along the beach. They didn’t get too far from their owners, but they were filled with mud. Our beach stuff was too.

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I’m surprised that tube didn’t float away somewhere. The blue plastic is a sun tent that we collapsed over our beach chairs. It did a decent job of keeping the chairs fairly dry, but the mud holding it all down was very heavy.

In addition to kayaks, I found other things washed in with the storm, like this jellyfish.
IMG_1319

There were spectacular waves for this area as well. The tides at this little inlet beach are usually extremely mild. Even at high tide the waves are normally just very gentle rolls. When I walked near Basket Island at low tide, I was shocked to find loud, crashing waves.
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Here’s a little video I took.

While I wasn’t able to get any close pictures of the resident blue heron, I was happy to once again find a snowy egret.
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Thursday was a good day for finds!

Friday, day 57 of summer, and our last full day in Maine, was “iffy” weather-wise. It was cloudy and cool as I took my last morning walk.
Cloudy cool morning

I normally like to spend my last vacation day basking on the beach all day, but the weather wasn’t cooperating, so I suggested to my family that we take another short jaunt out for a while, in hopes that maybe the clouds would clear and allow us some late afternoon beach time. We headed up to Scarborough. We scoured for treasures at the large Christmas Tree Shops and had lunch at the Sebago Brewing Company. I really enjoyed my seafood chowder and lobster BLT!
Sebago Brewing Company lunch

No visit to Scarborough is complete without a visit here
Famous Maine place
to buy candy and see Lenny the life-sized chocolate moose!
Lenny the life sized chocolate moose
Lenny is made from 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate!

At the end of the day, the girls and I carried out the end-of-vacation tradition: feeding the seagulls any leftover food we didn’t plan to take home.
IMG_1347

The birds gathered in large number quickly.
IMG_1353

Meghan had to check and make sure we weren’t giving away perfectly good potato chips!
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Quite the commotion was caused when a handful of chips was tossed out.
IMG_1354

And Meghan even got one brave soul to take food from her hand.
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Even though the weather was less than perfect, I cherished this time on vacation with my family. I know my years of having my whole family together for this week in the future are running low, so each passing year’s vacation becomes more precious.

August 17, 2014

The Maine Thing – part 2

Or… Bean & Smitty

On Tuesday, day 54 of summer, the fog came on little cat feet.
IMG_1302
The little islands off the shore of the beach completely disappeared in the fog bank.

I still went out for my morning walk, but it was with a bit of a chill as I made my way through the mist.
IMG_1305

And I dreamed about “if only…” as I walked.
I want it!

Deciding it wasn’t going to be beach-sitting weather that day, I suggested a trip to Freeport to the family, home of the famous L.L. Bean flagship store.
Big boot at LL Bean
Size 410 boot!

Clashing moose display
“The Final Charge” – two male moose reconstructed from the remains of a set of locked antlers.

I have no idea why this exists, but it does, and I of course took a picture.
Also from LL Bean

We enjoyed lunch and souvenir shopping and ice cream eating while in Freeport.

On Wednesday, day 55 of summer, most of New England, and I think other parts of the Northeast as well, were deluged by a huge rain storm. The rain started in the morning, not really letting up much throughout the day.
IMG_1308

That made Wednesday our day to enjoy some time at Smitty’s Cinema – a place we discovered a few years ago and have enjoyed going to ever since.

At Smitty’s you can enjoy pub style food, served by a waitress to your table in the theater, where you sit in comfortable high backed chairs.
Annual visit to Smitty's

My family’s choice of movie was “Guardians of the Galaxy”. I’m not a follower of Marvel but this was a fun movie and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The rain continued and the wind howled and thunder rumbled well into the night. I will show you the results of the storm in my next blog post.

The Maine Thing – part 1

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer,Travel — Karma @ 3:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Days 51, 52 and 53 of summer were the beginning of my one week vacation to Hills Beach in Biddeford Maine. This was our 5th year returning to the little cottage on the beach known as “The Dollhouse”.
Path to cottage

After leaving the house bright and early Saturday morning, and successfully avoiding the worst of the highway traffic on our route north, we made our stops for supplies along the way. I’ve told you before about Yummies – this year was no exception for stopping at our favorite candy store. I also grabbed a pint of (expensive! $7!) wild Maine blueberries at a roadside stand.
Wild Maine blueberries
(didn’t think to take a picture until after helping myself to a few handfuls!)

We arrived at the cottage after doing our grocery shopping and unpacked the car. Low tide greeted us at the beach.
Low tide at Hills Beach

I was happy to spend the last hours of the day in a beach chair reading after the work for the day was done.
Ending of a long day

I found myself awake shortly after sunrise on Sunday morning with beautiful light streaming in my window.
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After starting to read a most appropriate book with my breakfast,
IMG_1288
I was off on my morning walk – my preferred way of starting each day on vacation.

The afternoon brought beach time with my family.
Enjoying my girls' company on the beach

On Monday morning’s walk, I brought the Canon along with me.
I found
IMG_1290
ducks enjoying the beach

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the closest (unfortunately) view I would have for the week of my friend the blue heron

IMG_1294
and that strange marker with fortune-telling graffiti on it once again. The last time I took a picture of this marker it said, “Life is a gift” – a message I definitely needed to hear at the time. I found it pretty cool that it seems to say “Everything adventurous” now at a time in my life when I am trying to find the next big adventure!

More to come in the Maine editions of the 66 Days of Summer.

November 30, 2013

Summertime and the living is easy…

Today’s post is a flashback post brought to you via Scott Thomas’s current photo assignment, “Vacation”. I told Scott I didn’t know if I’d participate because I wasn’t sure I could show you my vacation in a way I already hadn’t. I’ve been going to the same beach every summer for many years, and I’ve blogged about it a lot! Hills Beach has a fairly large size in my tag cloud over there on the right side of this blog.

But I really hate to miss a photo assignment, and looking back at warm days on the beach in August when a nasty chill has set in here in the northeast was kind of nice. In my last blog post, I mentioned how I respond well to music, and I’ve written plenty of posts in the past that refer to music or include music videos from youtube. So in addition to this being my contribution to Scott’s assignment, I’m including a little lyrics quiz for you! Some of the lyrics, I think, are super easy, but a couple are more challenging. See if you can figure out the song title and artist without googling them and leave your answers in the comments section. I’ll post all the answers with music videos in a couple days!

1.
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“Vacation, all I ever wanted, Vacation, had to get away…”

2.
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“That’s where you wanna go to get away from it all…”

3.
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“Ballerina, you must have seen her, dancing in the sand…”

4.
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“She had her drink in her hand, she had her toes in the sand…”

5.
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“Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure, makes me want to go back again…”

6.
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“Beauty in the water, angel on the beach…I would have wished in ’92 for a mermaid just like you…”

Have fun! And you still have a few days to jump in on Scott’s assignment if you’d like to – posts are due on Wednesday, December 4th by midnight your time.

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