Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 18, 2014

Coming Home

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:24 pm
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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!)

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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.
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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.
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The birds gathered in large number quickly.
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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.
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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 1

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer,Travel — Karma @ 3:32 pm
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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,
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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
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ducks enjoying the beach

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

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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.

August 7, 2014

The “-ings” of getting ready for vacation

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 1:35 pm
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Errand running

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Laundry doing

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Cat feeding

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Garden picking

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Suitcase filling

These “ings” are the things I’m doing on day 49 of summer!

Vacation Count-down

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:39 am
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Yesterday(Wednesday) was day 48 of summer and my count-down to my week’s vacation in Maine began. We leave Saturday morning, bright and early. Preparations are underway. It seems there are always never-ending errands in the days before a vacation, doesn’t it? I did some of them yesterday. I also recently learned that our suitcases were in pretty poor condition, so a new set was purchased.
Time to travel

I did have some time to relax in the afternoon. I started reading The Wrong Right Man by Pamela Wight of Roughwighting, as I sat outside on the deck.

The hummingbirds were active at the feeder again, but a close-up shot was not to be. This little one zipped over to the small trees along the side of my yard and I was able to get this photo of him at rest.
hummingbird at rest

I imagine today will be a day much like yesterday- errands and checking things off my list as I get them done.
What are all of you getting done these days?

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.

August 19, 2013

A Piece of my Heart

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 9:35 am
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My heart in Maine

Each year when I return home from our vacation in Maine, I feel as though I’ve left a little piece of my heart behind.

After this year’s long and unusually traffic-filled ride, I took that much more pleasure in filling my lungs with the salty air and letting my soul settle in to the place where it feels so at home.
breath deep and relax

The colors of the evening never failed to disappoint…
sunset at Hills beach

stunning color fading light

And the morning light sparkled on the water like diamonds.
water sparkle 1

water sparkle 2

Although Maine is far from the tropics, when I put my head on the pillow at night I’d see this pine tree out the bedroom window that for some reason made me think of tropical breezes and palm trees lulling me to sleep.
"tropical" Maine

To avoid overloading you with photos in one post, I will continue with another post this week showing some of my Maine “discoveries”.

May 12, 2013

Cee’s Share Your World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 12:21 pm
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For quite a while now I’ve been reading Carol’s answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions. I believe Week 19 is coming to an end, but if its okay with you all, I thought I’d share my answers this week, as I found the questions quite interesting.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you would stay? Question came from Wanderings of an Elusive Mind
I’d like to say that a big, comfy bed would be a requirement, but in reality I often find myself putting up with less-than-perfect sleeping conditions in order to enjoy the place that I am. My case in point:
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Tiny bedroom of the cottage we rent in Maine, with tiny bed
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Tiny cabin on the cruise last year, with tiny bed
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The annual camping trip, sleeping in a tent, on, you guessed it, a tiny (air) bed.
So, my real requirements of a place that I stay for a vacation? A wonderful place to visit and wonderful people to be with.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?
I’ve never really considered myself to be a writer, although when I was in high school and college, I could write a pretty damn good paper! I attribute this ability to my favorite teacher, my high school social studies teacher Ms. Brewer, who was the toughest but best teacher I ever had. She was my inspiration for wanting to be a teacher myself. I guess that blogging is sort of like writing short stories, isn’t it? They don’t have a plot or a conflict usually, but I do enjoy presenting my little stories to you.

What’s your favorite song of the moment?
I told you in my post about color that I really enjoy Pink as an artist. Her duet with Nate Ruess “Just Give me a Reason” is a current favorite.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top items on your wish list?
Cee says that we can dream and let loose on our answers to this one. If I could have anything that I wanted in a new house? Beachfront property would be my number one wish. It wouldn’t need to be huge and expansive; just large enough to be comfortable with a sandy beach that I could step out my back door on to. If I really kicked up the dream, it would have a master bedroom with an ocean view and a hot tub on the balcony!
What would your answers to Cee’s questions be? Tell me in the comments or make a post of your own!

April 30, 2012

The Long Way Home

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 5:46 pm
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The last full day of our cruise was a day at sea.  The ship departed Mexico Wednesday night around 10 pm, and all day Thursday was spent sailing back to Miami.  It was a day spent relaxing in the sun.

lounging

I tried to take pictures of the sparkly water around me.  This is the shot that came out best:
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The previous night, we also found the last of the “towel animals” that cabin stewards often make.  Our towel creations were questionable as to what animal they were supposed to be, but they still amused us.  We found this fellow Wednesday night:
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I made a few modifications with one of my souvenir cups.
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I called him “Nessie.”

After our last dinner on board, our waiter for the week, Marlon, kindly posed for a picture with the girls.
marlon

We pulled into Port in Miami early Friday morning.
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We had breakfast on the ship, then waited for debarkation.  The process of getting off the ship, claiming luggage and going through customs seemed to go rather smoothly.  It was the rest of our day that was not!

We considered looking into an excursion to pass the time before our 3:30 flight home, but none of the offerings seemed all that interesting to all four of us, and there was a concern about being back to the airport on time.   So, we prepared ourselves for waiting around in the airport for a long time.  In addition to the long wait in the airport, we had a long layover scheduled in Chicago and we were not scheduled to arrive back at our local airport until 12:40 am.

That day was made to feel even longer when we missed our flight, despite being in the airport about 5 hours ahead of time.  The gate printed on our boarding pass did not match the actual gate our flight left from.  While I realize now that it was apparently our responsibility to keep checking on gate numbers once we arrived at the airport, I was very disappointed in the customer service we received at the time we realized our error.  We were quite rudely re-directed to rebooking, where we were just barely booked on the next plane out, leaving 2 hours later.

Arrival in Chicago involved chasing all over the airport to find which gate our connection departed from, and then finding that flight was delayed an hour.

By the time we walked into our home in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I believe it was about 2:30am.  That was definitely  the long way home.  I swear I am not making this up, but as I drove the last half mile to our house, this song was on the radio:

With the exception of this very long day Friday (and into Saturday morning), this was a top-notch vacation for me.  How wonderful not to cook, clean, drive or make a more difficult decision than “what should I choose from the buffet?”  How awesome to experience the beauty of Key West and to spend time swimming in Mexico with one of the most intelligent mammals.  How perfect to have a vacation that contented each member of this family and hopefully created memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you, Carnival Imagination!

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April 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things…

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:39 pm
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I’m taking a little break from the story of my cruise vacation to bring you this month’s photo hunt results.  Well, it isn’t a complete break, as you are about to see, but this isn’t an “official” cruise post.  I’ve had lots of submissions for the hunt rolling in today, and I hope to get around to seeing them all this weekend.  As usual, if you had planned to participate in the hunt and just forgot, go ahead and take the rest of the weekend to finish it up!  It isn’t likely that I’ll get the wrap-up posted before Monday night anyway.

In the blurb that I saw in the pingback when Robin posted her photo hunt, she mentioned that people aren’t technically things, when all along I had planned to use a picture of my girls in this post.  She’s right, of course, so how about smiles on my girls?
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This is from the day we boarded our ship – I took this picture with my phone when my mom texted me saying that she’d love to see the looks on their faces.

Favorite food!  So hard to choose!  I love many kinds of food.  One of my dinners on board the ship was quite delicious and prompted me to take its photo, therefore it gets to be my favorite food for this post.
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Lobster tail and grilled shrimp!  Yummy!

As long as I am still taunting you with vacation photos, here’s another favorite:
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The sea.  I always long to be near it.  Whether it is the wild and cold Atlantic Ocean or the warm, turquoise Carribbean Sea, the smell of a salty breeze puts me in heaven.

For my other favorites, I needed to head to my archives.  To go along with that beautiful blue water, how about a lovely blue margarita?
Electric blue margarita

Margaritas are one of my favorite summertime drinks.  They aren’t always blue, depending on the ingredients I choose, but they are always delicious!

This next picture gets you a favorite sport and a favorite hobby all in one shot!
Quilt square

I made this quilt square a couple years ago for the quilt of a retiring teacher at my school.  Just so happens she loves my favorite team too.  Quilting and baseball – there’s a combination I bet you never thought you’d see.

For my final favorite, you knew I’d have to include a flower picture didn’t you?  Some of my favorites are not in bloom yet this year, so I chose a picture from last year:
bearded iris 3

I just love bearded irises.  When they are in bloom, I see them each time I pull into or out of my driveway.  Sometimes, when one of my daughters is in the car with me, I screech “IRISES” in a silly voice, just because I can’t help my silly self.

I guess this time around I can’t participate in my bonus shot, since technically my whole post is my bonus!  I’m really enjoying the favorites I’ve seen so far, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the posts.  Keep ’em coming!

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