By Susan Saraf

By Susan Saraf

Friday, August 22, 2014

Welcome 3 F's Home! Back in the 516:) 4 weeks worth of FLY!

*Happy 15,000 views fly larvae!! This blog is long enough for the next 4 weeks, if not years. We are moving to Westport, Ct. YIKES! We will be busy missing you and you will be busy doing whatever the third F it is that you do:D* xoxoxoxo!

Songs: It's All Over Now by Eric Hutchinson
Glow by Donovan Frankenreiter
Actually, love Instagram!
Follow me@ susiesaraf

About last post*. Due to responses...have to rat myself out. Despite my ULTRA CHARMING up front personality;D- socially- I'm half hermit, half hermit. Occasionally, I will 'spit' for a friend. It's a term from my former days as rapper ZQ. A friend shares their pain and I'll write a blog on behalf.  I must be getting better at writing cause so many thought I was talking about myself. No, no, no! The place where I said I was, I was. Also, I don't cyber stalk. I barely check my own feed, less anyone else's. If it weren't for pimpin' this blog, I'd be FB free, so- no worries. I am thrilled everyone is out having fun.

My idea of fun? Any night I get to spend curled up with my lil hommies. Be it watching Alaska The Last Frontier, chatting, reading or writing my book:)) I have no idea what I'm missing. Or had no idea. Now fack off and stop telling me to see!

winter fun
summer fun

OK, SO. Currently, I'm three weeks back on Long Island, the (516), from five weeks in serene, well-paced and peaceful Maine. I am now more or less, mostly less, reintegrated into my typical ballistic, unsettled, closed-off self. However, for a while I was calm, serene and possibly even- vulnerable.

Someone had the misfortune of asking me how it was to be back. "It's a shit-show." May not have helped that my Songza playlist was "Bad B*tch Alert" -female rappers going off non-stop about their amazing vagina's and how hard core they be's, but...

This was my third day home:

Long Beach Boardwalk at night - best! 
1.) 6:05pm -I'd just barely escaped death by a 25yr old with greeeeezy hair, a black tinted windowed BMW, wearing a muscle tee and a hard on for road rage. We'll circle back to that one.

2.) 1pm - National Beach. Long Beach, NY. Finagled a beach pass from 16 year old beach chair attendant- head phones on, gum snapping, tan-bombin'girlfriend waved us in to the beat of something Beyonce. LOVED HER. That's the way you handle your age appropriate beach job. However, the party ended there. Next. Harranged by a large broom yielding power-crazed public bathroom attendant.  She started yelling at me the second I walked in. I ignored crazy. I had one kid in my arms and two waiting by the outdoor showers. I had no time to get into it with ol lady cookoocoo. That screamer would have made better use of her bristles by riding them then by nearly splashing me with the surface slime she insisted on swooshing all over the bathroom floor.

The reason my feet escaped the vile public beach sauce? As soon as I caught sight of the broom coming my way I got clear. My voice behind the bathroom stall door told her (my three year old straddled me koala style as I peed) that if she came an inch closer with that thing, she'd be sucking the slushy sand stew up for lunch. Through a straw! Who am I? I'm a mama bear with claws, that's who. Back the broom up.

3.) 11am-I called the effeminate twit I needed to buy a beach pass from a "Fucking LOSER!" Not my finest hour, nor our first collision.  Though he had aged a generation, (even managing to grow some stubble), I immediately recognized him from a few years ago. This man-kid had the most evil energy and I went right in, again.  No beach pass for me!

Us, actually, as I was not alone.

Are you taking an attitude with ME?
(btw-lol-I was not posing for my son.
Jules took this while HRH told him to put on his flops.

To Turbo-beach bitches credit, nearing the end of my tether, I had asked him if he "was taking an attitude with me?" I may have sounded a tad The Queen Mother. He answered by slamming the plexi-glass sliding window closed across my face and pulling down the shade. Really? Before I registered that now he was sitting alone in the dark of a trailer?! I reacted by shouting said expletive into a wall. Now, reading that... who was the loser? I've got my hand up. Like I said, I wasn't alone- I had my boys with me. And he was like 20. Punk.

My eldest son, Colbert, (8, double water sign) battled tears while staring at me, stick-still embarrassed by his mom's new level of crazy. Likely feeling literally the son of a bitch. My middle guy, Jules, (6, fire and earth) smiled in awe and said, "awesome," in a voice alarmingly akin to Spicoli -(please click that link). My youngest, Hank, (3, earth and air) threw his head back and laughed so loud I almost thought it was worth it... I know, so bad.  I'm still not sure if his cackle was born from pleasure or wanting to prove he was part of the conversation. Fine, I know he just wanted to belong. A mom can dream!
My latest bookmark, he still loves me, third F and all-phew!

I was horrified at myself, eventually. It took ten minutes of cooling down while explaining to my kids why Mom had gone postal. I mean, I knew I was in the wrong as it was happening, but horrified? That had to sink in. I'm telling you this kid was eeeevvviiill. The guilt crept in on me the way truth over ego = shame- always does. Are you aware of that formula? I just made it up. Seems true enough.  Then Colbert, oldest, (did I write 'eldest' earlier? There's that HRH again), finally gathered himself to ask the question most on his mind.

 "Why did you use the third 'F'?" His eyes were the saddest brown, his hair the darkest tawny. "You said The third F Mom? You used the third F and Loser."

*When he was five he came up with a system for F's. Cursing hurt his heart.

First F= friggin'
Second F= freakin'
Third F= you got it. Bombs away.

Welcome back to the NY Party. Cars sped by us as if it were a racetrack, not abutted to family beach parking. Honking and speeding.

"Have I spoken like that to anyone else?"I asked, in a creepy sweet mom voice, while making sure they stayed on the sidewalk.
"That is not true! Dad..." I said. OMG. Are Mother of the Year nominations out yet? It's all mine.
"No," he said.
Easy breezy Goose Rocks Beach
"Well, we have to understand, in life there are predators and there are prey," I said, holding on to the rationale as long as possible."That guy was a predator. Guys, (cool mom) obviously, I'd rather be laughing and having fun- but I can't joke around in the lions den! You're my babies. I have to be stronger than every predator that comes at us."

"It's like the Discovery Channel," Jules, (fire/ earth) said.

"Exactly," I said. I corralled all of them back up away from the street traffic and onto the sidewalk for what felt like the millionth terrifying time. "If you treated lions like house cats would you survive?"

"No," Colbert (double water) said, but he still didn't like it. Or me, he still didn't like me.

"My job is to keep you safe," I said, as if I had done my job. All of their faces said otherwise. My guilt began eclipsing my anger, ugh. "Okay, I should not have used the third F, that made you feel unsafe, I'm sorry. It made me feel unsafe too. Plus, I shouldn't have let that (little pussy) cat get the best of me," I said. "Sometimes you have to be a predator or else you're prey. I'm not prey."

"No, (you're not)," Colbert said. I must admit, my sons convinced I wasn't prey made me happy. My kids can think I'm nuts, but they cannot think I won't be able to protect them. Then, shaking his head as if recalling my outburst, he finally giggled.

Oh my gosh he's so cute, it's crazy. Then he thought for a moment and asked. "Am I prey, Mom?"

 I stopped walking. Looked him straight in the eyes and lied.


Cause we all are... sometimes.

I love New York. Of course I do. I first, second and third F love it. It's home, I've been here pretty much my entire life, that's why I can bag on it out loud. It's mine. You can hate out loud what's yours but not somebody else's. Them the rules. Thing is? I'm kinda done. It's a combination of too much energy, cars, honking, (where else do people honk? Jersey?) congestion, noise, weather, taxes... stuff that grates on the nerves. Reintegrating was tough. I'm tired of tough. I'm tired period.


Maine - Damn I look good.
(But where did my boobs go? Kids. Not only do
they take your boobs, they take your dreams!:)  
Country roads take me home! 

 THANKS MOM! Her insane LB condo is for sale;(

After spending over a month on The Freedom Farm, where the guy who owned it back in 1948-raised money, boated over and rehabbed Eastern European families from WWII,  gave them language, a trade, the will to live and the means to do it, for free... I'm a bit weary of having windows slammed in my face and nearly being run over by grease balls and threatened by brooms. As per the Maineyac post. Some may mock how quickly I adapted. Sure, I bet you wish I'd shut the third F up and go back already. I don't blame you. Who wants to keep hearing about the new friend? However, the difference in how people treat one another outside of this bubble of quick and nasty is literally astonishing. I don't mind saying so. I'm not talking about friends and every single person! Of course not.

 Go visit the south (where "yes m'am doesn't mean "yes, hag", the north, southwest, go out west! Incidentally, I've never been midwest- but have
been accused of being a mid-westerner many times! So they must be duh-ope!  I'm talking about the majority of my exchanges with everyday NY people as opposed to Mainers. "...the people that you meet when you're walking down the street...". When I tried this convo on some fellow natives, they got immediately shockingly defensive. I thought we all already knew? I get it. I am of it. Not these folks, who, ironically, got super pissed, one even popped the Billy idol lip.

Stress-free condo!
Or very little once I leave:)

 I liked it in the land of "How can we help you?" and "Hey! Let me get that!" and "Is there anything more I can do for you?" I softened up. I liked it. A lot. "What? I totally disagree. We help people out all the time. We're just not fake!" That's my favorite, that the immediate conclusion is that if people are pleasant and helpful, interested in having a simple chat- they're fake. Cause why would anybody waste their time hearing your story?! For what? As for my quick adaption...don't we all adapt quickly to an upgrade? Having a cool family we just met on the beach offer me their parking spot when I was alone muling my three boys and 29 beach toys, was a helluvan upgrade. When I made a quip about their offer sounding like the beginning of an episode of Cold Case? They looked confused. Not everyone's a cynic! Upgrade. You may understand the analogy of going back to coach after flying first class. Fresh cotton linens vs polyester? Sex vs abstinence? Clarity vs. confusion? Dependable vs disappearing? Adoption vs foster care? Whatever, dig deep, you will find a comparative circumstance and you will understand. I would love to hear them!

So not only did it feel hectic to be back in the land of the third F, it also felt great. Feels great. It's home and it's an island and I am a beach girl. Maines' beaches are beautiful, easy to access, no crowds, super clean, water as green as sea glass, (albeit cold as a mother refused a beach pass.) Even the seagulls are easy going. They'd stand 20 ft. away while we ate- patiently waiting for a scrap- a NY gull has swooped and swiped a bag of chips out of my hand...more than once. The amount of funny, and many times fascinating conversations I had while sitting and the kids played within eyesight was the way beaching should be. The way the tides come in and out so fast. As if the ocean is being controlled by the turn of a faucet, fastened my belief in God.

Nothing like South Shores Atlantic 
Yet, there is nothing like the south shore of Long Island's beaches. Maybe Florida. For me, being of it, it's Long Island all day- whether you're out east or on the south shore. (My fave beach is in Long Beach's West End- this cool little spot off Tennessee Ave.) It's like living in New York City and then going to any other city. They're not cities, they're towns. San Fran? A town. Boston? Bean-town. Paris? Oh, right, haven't gotten there yet. So, although I wanted to get the boys to hang ten,  I looked at the mild sea and thought, um, think we'll wait and do Skudin.  There are places to surf for sure, Fortunes Rocks looked great, but not GRB where we were. I'll speak to Long Beach and Atlantic Beach, NY, cause those are my spots. It's like NY itself. The beaches are for the most part huge. Most days the waves can knock you down, you get air, you lose your top and bottom, your sense of self and balance. I get out blowing snot rockets and laughing dizzy like I've been in a washing machine on full spin. It's exciting, fun. Well, fun if you're not alone with three kids under eight. There are no conversations, fascinating, dull or otherwise, I have to watch my babies like a ref at a high stakes tennis match, sans chair.

Yes, lifeguards look! 
Even if it's calm water, it's a massive job. One second you're getting checked out by a pack of cute lifeguards, (yes I second F do get checked out, possibly in my own mind, but yes!), and the next number 3 has to go number 2 and that's how I found myself in a concrete bunker trying to escape death by swamp foot.

*6:05pm. There's this nebulous intersection on my way back home. It's a fork spear situation only a person with time and the skill to write could describe. (When you find her, tell her to call me!) You can't tell who has the right of way, there's nothing but speeding cars, so at a certain point you just have to call it and gun it. I predicted the next car was going left, when suddenly this Greezeball comes right at me! Seconds from collision, eyeball to eyeball, I could see the writing on his black muscle tee, the snicker on his shiny face. I swerved hard to the right. He went left as I had originally anticipated.

 I had to pull over. I could no longer breathe and drive at the same time.

"Did we crash Mama Cute?" Hank, (earth, air) asked.

"No, baby,"I said. "That greasy, 25 year old muscle tee, black car with shady tinted windows, tried to run us off the road, for fun. Like, way to go, cool-boy! Way to try to kill a young mom and three little kids."

"You're not young," Eldest;) calls out from three rows back. I hadn't forgotten him. I was hoping he'd hear how gross guys in muscle tee's were. He wants one and there's no way.

"What?" I looked at him in the rearview mirror.

"You said "young"," he repeated. "You're not young. You're mid."

"What? What's mid?"

"You're mid. You're 40, that's middle. 30's young. If you add 40+40 you're 80, you lived a long life," he explained. "30+30=60 Mom, that's young to die, that'd be like sad. You're 40, you're mid."

I love you Colbert!!!So handsome, kills me.
"Coco, who?! Cares?!" I asked. "Fine, I'm mid. That meathead tried to kill you, your mother and two brothers. And that's the thing, that I'm mid?"

"I'm still getting a muscle tee," he said.

But now I'm stuck on mid. What's the value there. Besides getting back at me for putting the breaks on his mooley shirted dreams?

"Are you guys young?" I ask.

"Oh, yeah, we're really young," he said.

"So if I got killed it wouldn't matter," I said. "But if you guys did it would be sad."

"Oh, my gosh, Mom!" He threw his hands up to his head, what aren't you getting? "If we died it would be way worse than sad, it would be a disaster! It would be like on the news! (Then he settled down and looked out the window.) But yea, if you's like, no offences but it's like whatever."

No 'offences' taken. Totally offended.

Why did I swerve again?

"I'd care Mommy," Julian (fire, earth) said. "I'd care so much."

And that's why I swerve. Plus, a hundred other reasons- but to hear that then in his sweet soft voice, in that moment- I could breathe again. Then Colbert punched him for being a kiss-ass. I loved that. I totally would have done the same thing, even though I felt bad for sweet Jules.

Have a great month everybody. I all F's love you!!! xoxxxooxoxxo

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What To Do When You Get Hosed- happy week!! xxix

Can You Love Me Again by John Newman- love this dancing
Breakdown- Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers- "I ain't afraid of you runnin' away honey, I get the feelin' you won't." - See? TP my kinda nut.
Beast of Burden- The Rolling Stones

"If someone doesn't respond to you the first time, that's their answer." ~Holly Smith

Oh, man. I've never tried that one. I'm one of six kids, pretty sure it's why I assume I need to talk fast and repeat No. Turns out, no.

There is no need to hammer away at ourselves for being confused/distraught when someone whom we  were in regular contact, shared side splitting laughs or bang on intimacy- disappears.

When you realize they've gone missing you may find yourself compulsively attempting to reach them. Out of fear, out of hope, out of expectation, out of denial. Out of self-doubt.

A true friend is hard to find but easy to talk to.
I'm so lucky I found this nut.
Congratulations Holly on Walker William. 8/6/14xx
There is no need to hammer away at the person who dropped out of your orbit either.

Even though....

Okay, so let's set the scene. Hypothetical of course (hypothetical means phony in five syllables. I even know someone who's name means phony in three.) If only high school ended in high school, but it doesn't. Sad but true. But since we're grown...I'll play your game, but I'm going to be the coach. 

So you realize that you haven't heard back from (fill in the blank) in a while. You notice, but there's no concern. You then see that you called a couple times and no response. Hmmm. You reach out with another call/text.  Straight to voicemail or watching them on Messenger as they ignore you- good times! I hope s/he's okay? You wonder if s/he's depressed or busy and needs help- that's it. S/he hates to ask for anything, pride leads the parade to overwhelmed. Waiting to hear back you say to yourself. "Well, self, in the meantime, let's go me-time!" You check the fading Facebook or whatever social media you thrive on- only to find not only is your pal Houdini perfectly capable of getting out and of dressing.  She's able to put her arms around other Smiley Good-Times just like her and pose! This brings a twinge of self-pity followed by a shot of guilt. Well, what about me? Well, at least she isn't dead. Is that a pic of s/he dancing at your mutual friends party? Suddenly, your cheeks burn red in embarrassment. While you were leaving messy messages in the humor you once shared, you were actually persona non grata. Every pic tells the same story. Your once talk-twice-a-day is immersed in social connection while giving you zero percent call back.  The once (because a face turns ugly after betrayal) cherished face is a gleam amongst a bevy of people, (or two) who also appear to be having a blast. Aren't those the people your friend never liked? Who are those girls? So you scroll comments. "Hey best thing everrrr! Awesome seeing you!!" or "We'll be in town tomorrow, join?!" and the response, "Totally, call me!" Huh?

Dear friend is not only over your ass but being celebrated by every ass in town. Confused and rationalizing you call/text again. This time you leave a lengthy message basically saying "I'm onto ya." Alienating? Possibly. No, definitely. Who wants to read that? Satisfying to write, stomach churning to receive. As the sender, I have delivered myself the torture of pressing send too soon. There's no getting it back. Cyber F'd.

I have been on both sides. I'm not great with the phone. Forget not great, I do not like talking on the phone at all. There have been people in my life who are still in my life, who think I'm making it up. They decide that I'm lying. They choose to think I do like talking on the phone- just not to them. Haha! But hey, I can't laugh too hard because I make up my own stories all of the time. I have listened to a message or two and after being blown away from their confusions delayed their request for communication. I understand that too. It would just be too hard for me to let anyone suffer and never from a good friend, like in that above scenario. That is tough terrain. Sure, I've gotten served un-fun email. No one likes confrontation, but no communication is terminal. For me, it helps to take care of it quick. I feel better if when I can gain an understanding of whatever trippy madness is going on (jk). That we can turn down the noise as early as possible. Even if it's about me-yuck. Otherwise the volume inevitably gets turned up, even blaring. I am not a fan of heavy noise. I prefer to sing to the music. We're all nuts, we just have to find the nuts that are our kind of nutty- again Holly.

Hand me that hammer.


There is a need for you to hammer away at your psyche and discern why you would continue to invite a person into your life who has left your proverbial party without so much as a wave? You are asking for more than they are capable of giving, you know that already because they didn't even take time for two words, thank you. Yet, you are still back at your own party asking them to scrape off dinner dishes and clean up your mess. Yes, yours. It was your party for one, if it were their party, they'd still be there!

The fact is it really doesn't matter what they tell you, if they tell you. The heart is a savvy selector. Many times the trust is gone. They may have very good reasons, they may have none at all. You may have made the whole thing up (they will for sure say:) We tell ourselves a lot of stories. The only person you can truly work to know is yourself (and not to get all 'praise Lord' here), and the God that created you. Yes, even you. You pathetic, needy, overly sensitive soul. "You are the word of God spoken just once." Just once.  So, while it feels humiliating to realize someone you used to know and laugh with or who loved you- doesn't want to acknowledge you anymore, others acknowledgement is not what qualifies you as a person here  on earth with a job to do. Your acknowledgement of your gifts bestowed and your truth does. If you did right, there is no wrong for you to fix. Time to get another job.

I write what I need to read. In my own life I need to constantly take the blinders off. When in doubt I consult a trusted friend. I prefer someone a bit older or who's been through the trenches, they know more stuff, plus they've heard it all and nowhere to hide. Like that gem, stated simply and eloquently and quoted above, "If someone doesn't respond to you the first time, that's their answer." Ay Carumba, speak it sister. I never do that! I'm all for bombarding. And fair warning to Holly, I would never let her go with one call. I barely know where my phone is half the time. I can't imagine being like, ok she didn't respond, time to find an acorn. See how I do that? Excuse me, DID that. That is the past. I chose to start listening today. The first time.

If you find yourself in this rocking sinking ship, save yourself from further pain and walk away from the slamming, piercing silence. Without self-hating! Only a sociopath wouldn't feel the loss of a friend, especially when they are committed to making you notice and fish. Consider your need to know "the why's" as none of your biz. You have bigger nuts to crack! Find your people! If we truly cared about the cowardly-bags that ditched us, we wouldn't want them to feel burdened by their choice.  This is the land of the free baby? Remember? Who just said that? That was not me. You drop me, go ahead and feel it. Let's not bother caring about people who don't treat us well. If they once were respectful and are now giving you the short shrift, they know it, those types of people are not my brand of nut, that's all. Press on. There are so many cool people out there. Go help yourself to a handful of nuts. I do! Lots too!

Good week all!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Maineyiac!! How I Love Vacationland

Lean on me;/

Darling Be Home Soon- Joe Cocker Cover 1969
Cathedral- Crosby, Stills & Nash
Scroll for more pics...

Kennebunkport, Me. July's end 2014

I love Maine. My brother lived here for years- some years ago. He gave me this term. You ready? People who love Maine are...wait for it...Maineyiacs! Elbow, elbow. Hey it's summer-you must have some corn! I am a Maineyiac. We have been here for a month with one week to go and I am sad beyond words to leave. Seriously, if I weren't a person who hates long bouts of bitter cold, I could live here for sure. The music, the people, the food, the vistas, the people, the people. Yet, it is cold. As it is in New York, I start to bottom out by the end of March, by April I'm done for. I have PTSD. Post Traumatic Snow Disorder. The climate isn't all that different in Maine, and the people so wonderful, I would do it. Yet, I've been watching myself for years. That last stretch of about 4 more weeks of winter Maine maintains while NY thaws, would make me light myself on fire and toss my own ashes.* I will remain, God willing, a 'summer person.' That's what they call us. Summer people. Amongst other things. Ha, here's one. On the beach one day this charming lady from Canada, told me a kid from Massachusetts insulted her son. Her son asked him to build a sandcastle and the child said, "No, thank you." "Can you imagine? Who says that?!" I hated to admit that my oldest says it to anyone who comes within in twenty feet of him for any reason. Yet, I agreed with the Canadian woman, of course it's perculiar, but arent we raising peculiar? Anyway, I was proud that my son wasn't afraid of boundaries and said thank you. So I found this to be a rather small gripe. Well, small for me, it got her miffed. She put her hand up to her face-shielding her mouth so that only I could hear, "...that's why they call them Massholes." Haha. I couldn't believe it, I'd never heard anything like that. I didn't agree, but I am fond of word play. How great. "Is that right?" I asked. "Oh, you can bet ay, big Massholes."

Everyday, except for the two times we had visitors and it poured (that put an end to having visitors;) it's been a beautiful Maine day. Sunny, hot, breezy, with cool nights, breathtaking sunsets, flying bugs the size of small planes-yikes and oh, I almost forgot, ticks. I pulled one, like a hysteric out of my ankle while shaving, bad move. Then one from my ear, while driving. One from Henry's ear, a nymph. That's another sorta problem. Nothing, anywhere with anybody comes without a trade-off.

I've never seen so many cemeteries. Along with the staggering beauty of the homes dated 1810, 1709, 1645. I was struck by the amount of cemeteries. Everywhere you look there's another headstone with a persons name on it; in front yards, side streets, hiking trails. Each with an attribution rubbed out over time, (naturally, because it doesn't seem like anyone has died here since 1904?) less the words, 'DIED' 'Blessed God' and a date somewhere between 1535 and 1848.

Being a horrible person, I did briefly wonder if they weren't all legitimately from that era. Was it possible that some people found a family member had flat-lined and asked, "So, where should we bury Dad?" Hmm, here's good." (Son, picks his eye tooth and points to a spot near the end of their property line.) "Pick up a solid stone rectangle-scratch 1842 into it, no one'll know the difference." Then Pops is buried toe-up in the front yard looking like a piece of Americana when really he's circa 2013. It was just a thought. Relax. I quickly realized I was savagely irreverent. Bad, bad Sue-sue.

Listen, burials aren't cheap and they sure do add to the history of a place.

That said...when it's my time? *Incinerate my person and spread my ashes out over the NoPa. If you don't know what NoPa is, it's not your job, so don't bother trying to figure it out. Simply no burials for me. Property lines change. Nobody's going to build a road around this gals tombstone- so keep your money in your wallet family- or spend it on a flight to NoCal and cast me asunder.*

Short break for my WILL AND TESTAMENT-If indeed cash becomes too tight for flight- I might not mind (my dead self might not mind) being scattered in the ocean by Ogunquit, Me or Fortunes Rocks, Me. Which is remarkably similar to parts of the craggy Northern California coast and where I am spending the summer with my family now as we did two years ago. Kennebunkport, Goose Rocks Beach, Gooch's, Cape Porpoise, Kennebunk, Portland. Southern Maine. It is heaven. Heaven with a lot of cemeteries. My mind has changed from thinking of them as spooky to ubiquitous and as regular as living. To live is to die. It's so much more personal and intimate to have the plots on your property. It shows lineage and pride. As well, the plots make a fine juxtaposition amidst the salt of the earth Mainers I've encountered whom I've found royal at the art of living. They are lobster men, they are gentiles, they are kayaking, praying, painting, writing, gardening, crafting, creating, communicating, building, biking, fishing, harvesting, eating well, surviving long cold winters that blossom into stunning summers. They are living abutted to those that have earned their mortality by doing the same- generation by generation.

History is shouting out. Sometimes quite sadly. Upon closer inspection, I've too often found a headstone with the date etched stating the departed didn't live past 23 or worse that they died before they had the chance to lose their first baby tooth. What our forefathers did to get us they endured spending an entire day churning butter had me staggering. Losing a child? Children? How can I not be flooded with reverence? What holy grace. My favorite cemetery, (there's a sentence I never thought I'd hear myself say), is the Hutchins Familys' on Arundel Rd, in Kennebunkport. Strictly fascinated by that family. It seems they were hit hard in 1840 and 1848. They lost, from what I gleaned four children, one 3yrs and 3mos. My six year old pointed it out and added, "Hey, that's how old Henry is!" Our youngest is 3yrs and 3mos. I looked at him differently. I wanted to know how those parents endured, what caused all of those deaths? What saved them? My research has come up empty. Many old families have donated tons of acreage to preserve the land by creating The Conservation Trust. It's a fabulous testament to their character. I met a woman on a trolley ride who had not a tooth in her head but was proud that her great-granddaddy donated all of their inheritance to the people living and visiting "Vacationland." I had to look away. Does it get any less selfish? I would pick my having teeth over the masses enjoying great-granddaddy's backyard any day, and twice on Sundays. I'll work on that.

Goose Rocks Beach

I went for a run yesterday morning. "Run" may give you the wrong idea. I'm more a dancer, walker, spinner with some running mixed in than a straight-up runner. I'm like Billy Elliot out there. (Currently playing at the Ogunquit Playhouse.) Likely, I looks insane. But who's on the road? Not many. Mostly me. And other Maine-iacs. I put on my playlist, (this morning was Songza's 90's work out jam...who had it better than us coming up in the 90's. Awesomely bad, "uhuhuhuhuhuh Let me clear my throat!") and hve the time of my life. People are so friendly. Everyone smiles and waves. It's pristine. I like the country. I never want to leave.

The Sugar Shack
"Like a kid in a candy store"
However, Portland is no slouch. What a fabulous city. Aside from the great museum and that it's on the water. It's like hipsters on steroids. So much cool. The Freedom Farm where we are staying, I will dedicate an entire post to. Suffice it to say, it came with a turntable. Portland has a great little shop, Strange Maine, (pictured below), where I picked up some epic LP's everything from Lovin' Spoonful to RunDMC. There were two guys outside talking about astrology, hello!? Speaking my language much? Later, we stopped at  Two Fat Cats Bakery, cause my oldest is a sugar addict, and we enablers. The guys in there were too cute for words. So young, with requisite beards, they created all these delicious fresh baked yummies made with locally sourced ingredients. Turns out their Woopie Pies were voted best in the country or something. I'm not huge on sweets, I've never actually had a Woopie pie, but I had one that day. Yes. And more yes. Award them.

"This reminds me so much of Brooklyn," I said to the cashier. He looked to be about 30 with his heavy beard, but was probably closer to 22. He also looked 5'2"/180lbs with his heavy beard but was probably closer to 5'8" and 135lbs.

"Oh, yea," he smiled, his voice was kind and groovy. "It's kinda similar with the locally sourced
Gettya LP's on
ingredients and all."

"They're shaving their beards in Brooklyn," I whispered. "Just.. noticing that. Was there recently."

"Oh, really?" he laughed, stroking his massive reddish face-fur, "thanks for the heads up."

"Yea, I think you've got like 4 months max left with that," I said quietly with a wink that said he would thank me later.

"So, will it be just the Woopie pies and the brownie?" he asked, laughing.

Haha. We have fun. I'm glad he didn't give me any advice. :D *I don't want to know what they call people from New York. Actually, yes I do! I hope it's just as hilarious.

Oh! Another thing, well there are so many more things, but everyone has an American Flag. Ours is rolled up on it's side in the garage on Long Island getting all kinds of filthy. With the amount of history and country pride, one, (this one) could feel like a gosh darn commie. What a disgrace. Here, in patriotic Southern Maine, Old Glory is out and about. She's hanging off of cars, mailboxes, trucks, garages, barns, boats, lit up on poles...and of course marking too many a headstone in those beautiful, sacred cemeteries.

snorkel for hermit crabs

catch a 5th of july parade (rained on 4th)

Cigarette ad on Trolley built in 1912

Can you believe how cool Mom is? No! 

Outward Bound, Sail Sail Sail

Nymph deer tick looks like a poppyseed

stop and snell the wild flowers


Great BLT's

Hurchins Family Cemetery 

By Richard Estes- couldn't agree more.

They said Bellows used chartreuse "a color not found in nature" but I found a  chartreuse snail at Goose rocks.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Guitar Hero

 He had just returned from taking our eight year old to an electric guitar lesson.
Pictures that he will hate me for
in no time. Then understand when it's his time.

"This kid, like 35, at the music place, told me about a game where Colbert can plug in his guitar to the Wii U and play along," Danny said.

"Kid" and "35" didn't seem to totally go together- but my bigger battle was insuring not another piece of Wii U paraphernalia came into the homestead. 

"Whatever happened to doing things the old fashioned way?" I wondered out loud. "Like using the guitar app on the iPad?"

"Yea," Danny said, walking out of the room.  I'm gonna get it anyway.

Then Colbert came in to pitch the same spiel. 

He props his music on the ledge
and picks out the chords.
"Hey Mom, there was this guy at the lesson place that said we can buy a cool thing for the Wii U," he said.

"The 35 year old?" I asked. 

"Yea, this old guy," he said.


But, I'm sure "35" and "old" don't go together either. Right?!