30 October 2008

Oh yeah, Halloween

Ok, so I totally forgot that tomorrow is Halloween. It completely sneaked up on me this year. I don't know how it happened. I've been out and seen all the paraphernalia in stores. My friend, Tina, mentioned something to me just yesterday about Halloween parties this weekend. My kids have talked about costumes and such. But I still didn't get it.

Today I was picking up groceries, saw a big bin with bags of Halloween candy, and I thought for a moment. And yes, it hit me. It's tomorrow. What the heck? Where has fall gone?

You see, to me, Halloween is sort of the culmination of fall. I don't care that the calendar says fall goes until late December. In my mind (and by the looks of the leaf-dropping trees near our home) fall ends when the leaves hit the ground. After that, it's winter until the forsythias bloom, which is usually sometime in April. That means, sports fans, that by my calendar, we have nearly 6 months of winter here in Maine.

Disagree if you like, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

27 October 2008

Not your typical autumn-in-Maine activity...

Just before I left California last week, my dad told me he wanted to give something to me to bring back to Maine. He went outside with a bag and came back a short time later with a bunch of lemons. From the lemon tree. In his front yard.

He told me they don't know what to do with all the lemons, because they are so plentiful. Can you imagine having a problem like that? I packed the bag of lemons into my suitcase, hoping that I wouldn't find my clothes soaked in lemonade upon my return.

The lemons traveled just fine, and today my daughter and I made lemonade. I have never actually made lemonade from lemons, though I've used the analogy countless times, especially when complaining about the winter weather in Maine.

Today at our house, the mid-day temperature was 66 and it was sunny and bright. That, along with the lemonade, allows me to pretend for just a bit longer that winter really will never come. After all, it doesn't come to the southern California coast. And if they tell you it does, don't believe them. I've been there and I know.

And Connie, you can tell Bob that using a heated mattress in THAT weather is just... well, it's sick and wrong. :)

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

25 October 2008

Coast to Coast

I spent the past week in Southern California, basking in the sun, seeing old friends, and having a last hurrah before hunkering down for another Maine winter.

Ok, sure, winter isn't here yet, but it was 25 degrees at my house this morning and the flowers are all now dead. In fact, the window boxes and hanging plants look like something from a horror movie, with gooey black stems, hanging limp over the sides. Somehow my husband and kids didn't notice them while I was gone. Heck, I might as well leave them out for Halloween.

I had dinner with my friends, Connie and Bob, while in California. They live one block from the beach. ONE BLOCK. We walked outside, crossed a street, and we were there. It was in the upper 60s after dark, and they mentioned that it was a little chilly. I had to laugh. Then I told them stories about how we have to shovel paths to our firewood after each storm, and how we have to start a new fire in the wood stove each morning. Bob was aghast and wondered how people survive here. We talked about all this while looking out their opened doors at bougainvilleas and countless other flowers.

Ok, so the ugly truth is, I really didn't want to come home.

I flew first to Washington, D.C. to catch my flight to Portland. As I was looking for the gate, I first saw the people. Mainers. I knew that had to be my gate and I was right.

I won't try to explain how I knew. The fact that everyone was carrying a jacket and that most of the men had beards MIGHT have had something to do with it, but either way, I knew I was going home.

And I'm very glad to be back. Sure, I'd trade 25 degrees and dead leaves for 60s and palm trees, but this is still home and I love it here.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

16 October 2008

Eagles vs. Patriots... or NOT

So yesterday I was half-listening to the radio while making dinner. The DJ was saying something about a contest, and how the winner would win a trip to Florida to see the Eagles, live.

I thought, what? We are in New England, not Philadelphia. Why would anyone want to win a trip to go see the Eagles? Or… are the Patriots supposed to play the Eagles that weekend?

And then I listened more closely and heard “Hotel California” playing in the background. Yeah, they meant THE EAGLES, of musical fame.

Sheesh, I think I’ve been watching too much football.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

15 October 2008

Not Something You'd Want to do in Maine


Ok, so apparently the lobsters out West don't have claws? What kind of lobsters are those, anyway? Either way, putting them down one's pants doesn't sound like a good idea.


Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

14 October 2008

Hunting Season in Maine

I just learned more than I ever wanted to know at the Maine Government Website about the dates of hunting season in Maine.

I am very much NOT a part of the hunting sub-culture of Maine. Not because I have anything against it, but because no one in my family hunts, and to me, when the leaves fall, it is not the season to creep through the cold, wet woods waiting for elusive game.

No, to me, hunting season means brisk walks on the outskirts of the woods (wearing a lot of bright orange, mind you) and staying indoors with the comfort foods baking and the tea kettle simmering.

As I was surfing the net tonight, aimlessly wondering and going no place in particular, I came across This Blog, reminding Mainers to wear orange whenever they spend time outdoors. Because, let's face it - no place is safe.

We live in a rather busy neighborhood, but it is not an uncommon sight to see teens or their dads walking down our road with a rifle (or some sort of long gun - whatever they're called) in hand.

When we first moved here from Southern California, these sights freaked me out to say the least. After coming from a place where guns were small, where they were primarily toted by gangs and weirdos, and they were used for shooting people, not animals, it was unsettling. Walking through a woodland path with my three young children and hearing gun shots in the distance was heart-attack worthy, orange clothing or not.

In fact, one time, our german shepherd, dressed in a bright orange doggy-vest, ran off into the woods chasing a deer. I envisioned a cold, stiff hunter who had been sitting in his tree-house since before dawn, just waiting to shoot something - anything. After a few panicked screams on my part, the dog came running back... and the neighbors were all alerted that someone from "away" had moved into the neighborhood.

But I digress. If you do venture out into the woods, or the countryside, or the neighborhoods, or heck, downtown Portland this fall, put on your bright orange. Better safe than sorry.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

13 October 2008

What Part of Fall are You?

Ok, this shows desperation. I sit down to write, and if there are no new photos in my camera, I have no idea what to say.

I found this on a friend's blog - and it's not too much of a time killer. I thought it was amazingly accurate, too.

If you take the quiz, let me know, and let me know how it turned out for you.

You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

12 October 2008

More Maine Foliage / Fall Work Day

This weekend was the reason people come to Maine in the fall. Along the coast and in southern Maine, fall foliage was still at its peak, and the weather seemed to be special ordered.

On Friday, our daughter had a cross country meet in Farmington and we were surprised to find quite a bit of foliage still very colorful in that area. The aforementioned weather was cooperative...

... but the views on the drive back home were what really stole the show...

On Saturday, we had our first fall work day - and finally got our chimney cleaned. It will be nice to start a fire in the woodstove now that the temps are in the 30s at night. But even while working, we couldn't help but notice the amazing colors...

If you weren't able to make it to Maine this fall for the foliage show, plan your calendar for next year. Columbus day weekend is usually a safe bet.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

06 October 2008

The Maine Coast

Yesterday afternoon, we took a sunny drive through a few of the coastal islands...

This last photo is of a gift shop at the very end of Bailey Island. It is aptly named "Land's End," as the land abruptly ends at the edge of the Atlantic. I highly recommend a trip there on a sunny day. Or a cloudy day. Or pretty much any day. The views are spectactular.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

03 October 2008

Fall Foliage in Maine

...it's at its peak in our neck of the woods.


Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes

02 October 2008


... is here.

And this is what I'm seeing outside my kitchen window. Quite bright, in spite of the rain...

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes