Wednesday, February 28, 2007

sadness and mourning

Many of us in Central Maine are mourning the loss of a favorite restaurant this week. I've posted about this place before, my most favorite local restaurant in Hallowell...Slates.

Sunday afternoon saw a horrible sight, one of smoke and fire billowing out of the 2nd story window of this little restaurant, a fire that quickly spread through the historic building until it no longer looked like the quaint little place to enjoy country chicken pie or Sunday brunch. Now it just looks like a charred and half frozen wreck, with the roof and most of the 3rd floor caved in....and no sign in sight of reopening anytime soon.
Slates was a community restaurant, a meeting place with mismatched chairs and tables, walls painted funky colors and many with murals, tin ceilings and low lighting and ambient music; it's workers were (are) a family and that was the feeling you got when you went in. I've celebrated many friends' birthdays, many afternoon lunch's with my mother, a few romantic dinners with ex-loves and even a bad blind date.

I know Slates will rebuild, but it's so sad to see this happen and my heart goes out to the owners, the workers, the patrons and the community.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

songs of enchantment

I am so psyched that I'm doing the happy happy dance of joy!
Can't you see me? I'm spinning and jumping, with my arms flailing!
Can't you hear me? Yips of joy and shouts of "Waaaahoooo" are echoing off the walls!

I am going to see Loreena McKennitt! In April! In Boston!
I can't believe this!

If you've never heard that ethereal voice, listen here, there are little sound bites to give you a taste. She's amazing! Her music is haunting and heart-wrenching, energetic and alive, with pipes and drums and pianos and harps and all manner of orchestral instruments.

The music evokes images of dancing 'round bonfires during the solstice in swirling long skirts, calling down the magic of the old gods. It's Shakespeare and Tennyson and Blake in song.

This is something I've been looking forward to for 13 years, since my friend and I discovered her music and swore that if Loreena was playing anywhere nearby, no matter the cost - we would find the money and go. And go we shall, to Boston! To spend the day wandering downtown, to check out the shops, to find little out of the way and interesting places to have lunch and dinner and then top the evening off listening to the enchanting voice of Loreena McKennitt!

Monday, February 26, 2007


Every winter, when the Lake freezes, it amazes me how just months earlier I was swimming here.

"Damariscotta Lake - summer and winter"

I love seeing the Lake from this wholly different perspective. Places that you could only swim to or row to, you can now walk to.
Snowmobiles, trucks and 4-wheelers replace speedboats and jetski's; walking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing replace canoes and kyaks.

And when the day finally quiets down and twilight falls, all you hear is the whisper of snow sliding across the Lake on the wind and the ominous moan and groan of the ice shifting underfoot.

I needed this weekend to come to an appreciation of winter again and not want to rush right through it to get to spring. I needed the icy wind baffling at my triple layered body in order to appreciate the warmth of the woodstove when I went inside. Walking in slow motion through snow, fighting against the wind to appreciate how it felt to slip those boots off and walk unhindered through the house. And when the heat of summer comes again, I will pull out the memories of this weekend on the ice and appreciate the feel of that summer sun, of tank tops and t-shirts and summer skirts, of sandals and the hum of bees rather than the hum of snowmobiles.

"trees and shadows"
(this will go into the file of future fabric projects, it would make a great winter wallhanging)

More pictures from this weekend's ice fishing excursion here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Time flies...

Wow! It's been almost a month since my last post. I didn't really mean for my absence to go on so long. It started getting busy at work and by the time I came home (after being on the computer all day), the thought of jumping online again was just too tiring! I haven’t taken time to write or read any blog posts! How very sad. And it was so cold for most of that month hiatus…bitterly cold with wind chill factors putting us around 10 below on several days (that’s about –23 for you Celsius fans). February in Maine just makes you want to stay inside for the month and not venture out!

It seems like a million things have happened…and nothing at all, most of it centering on work. One of the pieces of legislation that I’ve been working on for the past year, regarding postpartum depression and women’s health, is finally seeing the light of day! And the press is jumping on it; which is giving the women I worked with (the Postpartum Support Initiative of Maine) the spotlight that they need and deserve! I was completely behind the scenes on this (which suited me fine; I’m not a seeker of the limelight. I’d rather see the issue highlighted), helping them with the legislative side to all of this. These women are the most fabulous people, so supportive and easy to talk to, warm and caring. If I had postpartum depression, I’d want these women to help me. The best thing is that the local evening news is doing a piece on this issue (which airs tonight and will be rerun during the news this weekend) and interviewed some of the women from the Initiative. I am so psyched for this group, getting this recognition!

I’ve also been working on a domestic violence bill for my boss and we’re having a press conference in 2 weeks to try to get the ENTIRE legislature to support this legislation. The bill will change our current domestic violence law from police arresting both people involved in the dispute and sorting it out after charges have been filed, to allowing for a thorough history of the situation with an investigation before charges are made. Far too often, a woman in an abusive relationship will be at her wits end and strike back at her abuser. The abuser will then call the police on her, resulting in the abused woman getting arrested for assaulting her abuser. What better way to reinforce the thought that the abuse was her fault? No wonder women in these relationships don’t want to call the police…they get no support!

Okay, enough about work, we had a foot and a half of snow (45.72 centimeters) dumped on us on Valentine’s Day! It was great! So pretty and I got to stay home, all snuggly in the recliner with a blanket and the wood stove going, working on my pink and green quilt. Then I had to go shovel different areas that my plow guy couldn’t get to…and that just sucked. And now I want spring! I keep hearing bird song every day and some days are in the high 30’s (around 3˚ C) and all the seed and bulb catalogs are coming in, inspiring me. I walk outside every morning and see a 4 foot WALL of snow (from the plow) blocking my view of my backyard, but in my mind I’m seeing a warm spring day with green grass and a ground cover creeping across my back hill, flowers and vines and trees sprouting. Mmmmm…it’ll be hard work to get it to look the way I envision it, but that’s what I’m aiming for this spring.

Oh, I am also one window away from sheet rocking my future bedroom. My Dad helped me wire in new electrical plugs (rather, I helped him…he got to be the electrician, I had to be the mind reader/gopher/contortionist light holder – a role I don’t wish to reprise any time soon. My back and my knees are still aching from crawling around a VERY small attic and twisting this way and that to get the light where my Dad needed it). Now we just need to replace that window and start sheet rocking. Then I can paint! Yippee! And put down carpet! Whoo-hoo! And move my stuff in and turn my current room into a studio!! (I know you can’t see it, but I’m doing the “Happy Happy Dance of Joy” right now. It’s kind of like the Snoopy Dance, but with flailing arms and yips of joy). It's been slow getting to this point, but I'm so close to my own studio that I can almost taste it...uh, you know what I mean.

Now I will close this long update with the promise to take lots of pictures during this weekend’s Ice Fishing Party at my parent’s place. I don’t ice fish, but the men in my family do. My mother is using it as an excuse to make lots of toasty warm comfort food and have the women sit around inside to craft, quilt, scrapbook, etc. etc.

I hope you have a fun-filled and fabulous weekend. I’m going to try to read a few blogs and maybe catch up on the month I missed in the lives of my favorite bloggers!