Meet My Court Jesters: Long Tail Sally & Wishy

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Now that chipmunk season is almost a wrap-up, it seems like there is a bit of an “after hours” type party happening. I didn’t realize until Chippie’s departure into her burrow that she was quite the watchdog. Chippie reigned from the perch of our deck, chased away other chipmunks from our garden and guarded her territory– that I knew. I also knew that she and her nemesis, El Chippo, were always chasing one another. In her absence he enjoyed a couple of days of playing and jumping on the formerly forbidden places. As an example, I watched him leap from the deck into the garden and then slide down the tomato stakes like a little fireman. Fortunately we had finished harvesting the garden for the season. Then even he went underground and two new characters showed up: Long Tail Sally and Wishy.

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Holiday Entertaining: Timeless Advice

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The above vintage photo of Imogene Wolcott, author of The Yankee Cookbook (1939) and former Food Editor of Yankee Magazine (years unknown) appears in my circa 1940s copy of “Parties Should Be Fun…For You!” which she also authored. There is a Forward by Margery Wilson, former silent film star and authority on entertaining, charm and etiquette who is also one of my favorite authors on that genre.

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Possibilities: Victorian Era Inspiration

I am really looking forward to some “slow news days” in my own life! In addition to having ANOTHER tree come down yesterday during another windstorm (it fell right on top of the tree that fell last week?!!) this past week was rather stressful due to dealing with various petty tyrants in positions of minuscule bureaucratic authority. I patiently asked to speak to someone else more than once. Within those machinations that lack common sense and kindness, I was able to reach people who were actually reachable as human beings and they made things right. There are kind people in this world and we have the opportunity every minute to be one of them!

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Vintage View: Shorette’s Diner, Lincoln, Maine

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This vintage view of Shorette’s Diner in Lincoln is circa 1950s. It no longer exists! On the backside: “On Route 2 entering Lincoln, Maine going north, a place to remember, air-conditioned, quick courteous service, the finest of foods, large free parking space. Open 6 AM to 12 PM. Charles R. Shorette & Son, Proprietors.” Color plate by Alton Johnson. Published by Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co., Inc. Belfast, Maine.

Vintage Views of Maine: Old Postcards

I have a new feature coming up on Serene New England: Scans from my vintage Maine postcard collection! I’ll be featuring views of places, restaurants, motels, inns and street views that are either no longer in existence or have changed dramatically over the decades. It’s a fun way to be transported back in time. Wayne and I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them as much as we do.

Shown above is a Plastichrome by Colourpicture Publishers, Boston, published by Don Sieburg, New London, New Hampshire: “Pleasant Mountain Chairlift and Ski Area near Bridgton, Maine. The 4,300 foot chairlift sightseers in summer and skiers in winter. From the summit, scores of lakes and mountains in Maine and New Hampshire can be seen. Photo by Bill Bardsley.” No date given, circa 1950s. Today it’s known as Shawnee Peak.

S.O.S! The Return of the Square!

“Remember one thing: Wrong is wrong even if everyone else says it’s right – and right is right even if everyone else says it’s wrong,” Ward once said to the Beav and I never forgot it.

I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a stodgy old lady. “Little House on the Prairie” was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid, tied with “The Brady Bunch” and “Leave it to Beaver.” I really appreciate many (but not all) of the “square” sentiments in this little early 1960s booklet, The Return of the Square: The Fight for Independence, since I still often feel so “irrelevant” and old-fashioned. It’s the text of a speech by “Madison Avenue’s favorite phrase-maker,” an original Mad Man, Charles H Brower.

I think this is a great summation of the origins of square:

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Home Sweet Home

I took the pic above yesterday after Wayne cut the grass and I trimmed the shrubs. Today has been rainy with intermittent rumbles of thunder. I’m definitely a “homebody” and am enjoying this time to relax indoors after a very full and wonderful summer. Here’s how my day looked:

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Resolution: Victorian-Era Advice Worth Following

I acquired this little Victorian-era birthday greeting in a box with other small antique booklets and cards at an auction house in the early 2000s. It had a very powerful impact on me when I read it, but at some point it got placed in storage and so did the words that speak the resolve to be true to ourselves. (I’ve learned over the years that authentic people are the only people that really matter to me.) Recently I rediscovered this and hope to never put it out of my mind and heart. Perhaps it will speak to you, too. Continue reading “Resolution: Victorian-Era Advice Worth Following”

Summering at Home in Scarborough (while sick)

Good morning! I’m feeling better today. Out of the blue on Friday I came down with a fever peaking at 101, sore throat and swollen glands that lasted through the weekend. I went to the doctor yesterday and I have tonsillitis. I’ll know tomorrow if I need antibiotics and I really hope I don’t because I don’t tolerate them very well and am allergic to some. However, I’m hopeful I won’t need them because my symptoms are far less severe today.  In the meantime I’ve been “summering” at home and the accommodations, entertainments and care thanks to Wayne have been five star! (Speaking of my fondness for writing reviews, I just received a message that one of my recent Yelp reviews made it to “Review of the Day!” today!) Continue reading “Summering at Home in Scarborough (while sick)”

John Ruskin on Contentment

There are, indeed, two forms of discontent: one laborious, the other indolent and complaining. We respect the man of laborious desire, but let us not suppose that his restlessness is peace, or his ambition meekness. It is because of the special connection of meekness with contentment that it is promised that the meek shall “inherit the earth.” Neither covetous men, nor the grave, can inherit anything; they can but consume. Only contentment can possess. Continue reading “John Ruskin on Contentment”