Monday, December 30, 2013

Through The Years With Ray

Well yesterday was a very big day around here. 
For those of you who don't know ( I can't imagine anyone who knows us won't know)  ...
 a regular theme of maine-matters is dog related. For dogs are a huge part of Pat's and my lives.  We've both grown up with dogs and have been blessed with many special ones and a few knuckleheads as well.
I can't speak for Pat but for me none have been more special then Ray who celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday. We call him our marshmellow boy because he is soft and sensitive and a worry wart and loving and kind and gentle and intelligent...and..and........
Anyways.. here are some pictures of Big Ray..Through The Years...
Above and to the right:His first days home


To the to college..Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Right: Flying didn't go so well for Ray..but it worked out well for us

When he's not doing this..

He's acting silly...

Or getting some sniffs from Penobscot Bay when we are out boating...

and keeping a watchful eye out on his kibble pouch.

So Happy Birthday Big Ray. 
You've enriched our lives beyond description.
Thank you for being you!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Powerless In Maine..Blessings..

We received the best Christmas present yesterday afternoon.. "our" power and the gift of a warming and lighted home..electricity returned to our neighborhood around 2:30 shortly after a rescue crew from New York showed up in our driveway.

We were without for 47 hours. But even through the relief I felt, a sense of guilt tempered my joy...for there are still over 6,000 Waldo County residents without electricity and statewide over 24,000, well down from the previous totals. However these falling statistics provide no comfort for those still sitting in a heat-less, dark home.

So my thoughts go out to them along with my my hopes that they won't have to endure another cold Maine night without "their" power.

Perhaps when, not if, the next ice storm hits us we will be better prepared. But I do know this for sure..I will be counting the blessings that I have in my life. Blessings that no storm can turn out.

Thanks so much to the power crews from all over the Northeast that gave up their family Christmas so that we could have ours. But most of all thanks to my family, both blood and extended, and friends  for providing us both physical and emotional shelter against the storm.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Powerless In Maine..Part Of The Deal


    Well here I sit using a laptop by candlelight, an odd combination of old and new.  Our power went out yesterday afternoon around 3PM . And we are just one of nearly 79,000 households and businesses in mid-Maine that are without electricity, with no realistic hope of getting re-energized before Christmas. 

Or so "they" say.  

    Our newly installed, propane fired, Mr. Heater is cranked. The worse part right now? coffee.. Life in Maine..I guess this is part of the deal..

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stalking The Wild Christmas Tree

On a recent bright and sunny but frigid day we  (me , the wifey, and Big Ray), spent an invigorating hour or so on our almost annual wild Christmas tree hunt. This tradition has been passed down for years through the tangled generational limbs of my family tree and I'm sure that my father and ancestors before him never paid for a Christmas tree. No such concept existed in the old man's consciousness. But I confess that the giving of compensation to someone for a harvested tree is something not alien to me. 

 But not on this frosty morning, during this Christmas season. So with trusty bow saw in hand we hit the trail..
With Big Ray on high alert for new sniffs, critters and any hand movements on Pat's part toward the direction of his kibble pouch, we worked our way down the trail..looking for just the right one. No Charlie Brown tree this year. At least we hoped not.
 In the past we would normally do our tree hunt during bird season  when we could find our fir without the boughs being weighed down with snow. Of course this is a great technique as long as you remember where it was. Somehow they can look different in December then in October.  However we did not do that this year and our search was complicated a bit by the recent snow we had received.

Regardless of the cold temp, coldest of this new winter season,
(so far)
the beauty of the newly fallen snow on the evergreens was undeniable. It's so nice to see green in December.

Finally our choice was made and we were on our way back home with our 2013 Christmas Tree in tow.
Once again the family tradition has been renewed and hopefully there will be at least a few more Christmas seasons to continue to do so.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Zed The Birthday Boy

We got a very nice note yesterday from our boy Zed who is at the Guiding Eyes For The Blind campus in Yorktown Heights New York.

For those of you who may not know, Zed was the puppy that we raised before our present one, Bailey. Zed is in college learning to be a guide dog and apparently is very much enjoying his college experience and path toward a higher calling. 

He just had his 2nd birthday and to include us in the celebration he sent along the following:
Hi Everyone!

    My friends here at the Training School took my picture on my birthday! We are sending you a copy so you can see what fun it was! They even gave my roommate and me a special treat to celebrate! I am working very hard and having a lot of fun learning everything I need to know. Tell all my friends at home hello! Love, Zed

We miss you Zed and are thinking of you.