Tag Archives: trees

Fresh air

(Jun 12 3:36 p.m.)

Sometimes you don’t quite realize how much you needed to breathe and walk in the clean air somewhere else on Earth.  In my case, I didn’t have to travel far.  I felt like I’d needed to breathe that unadulterated air.

(May 15 2:37 p.m.)

It’s not hard to wonder, with our A/Cs and plastic fans during summer (or near-summer) why the air quality index was so high one day this month that “unhealthy for sensitive groups” was displayed on the Weather Channel mobile app.  Air filtering is needed for certain times, and— what else, high voltage air filters produce ozone, making it worse?

(May 15 2:36 p.m.)

And the area that connects Biddeford and Saco is called Factory Island.  Yes, Factory Island.  At least the smoke stack isn’t being used.  (At least I don’t think it is.)

[STOP]
(Apr 9 2:55 p.m.)
Now, some of you may be wondering: “Why Saco?  Biddeford?  Why not Portland?  Isn’t that where you live?”  No, not anymore.  I moved.  In fact, I was forced to move because I the company that supplemented the rent gave up on Portland altogether with all the wage changes… wage changes it made unilaterally.  I don’t have the money to pay the rent — something close to $1,900 a month for a good three bedroom apartment, and I can only manage about a third of that.  And that’s why I lived with another person, and once again that’s why I am living with yet another person, just now a different guy… unfortunately with his own set of childish and unsanitary habits.  It’s a different kind of stress and sleep schedule.

Private pools opening.  (Not opening to the public.) (May 23 5:17 p.m.)

2021 has been with major change whether I or you like it or not, and again it’s been hard to find the peace of mind to write.

Some awful things have happened as a result of years of negligence.  And I’m not just talking what happened in DC.  My mother was hospitalized after pretty much starving herself since I left the old home, and worse after falling on the ice, where she ate even less.  Years of denial turned into straight up mental illness.  And now her moldy house is stripped of its walls and its contents, and the place may be sold soon.  The house I grew up in is gone.

So it has been an emotionally rough year.

Continue reading Fresh air

Season’s Greetings

(May 14 2:53 p.m.)

So… quarantine.  Someone who doesn’t wash his hands around here got sick, surprise, surprise.  But I hadn’t been stuck indoors due to that, not quite.  But because my right shoe broke in such a way that part of it rubbed slowly cut into my foot.  And thus I couldn’t walk outside.

(May 14 3:49 p.m.)

Gawd, it was good to get outside again.  Hobbling in the process of buying new shoes wasn’t great… and worse that the shoes we bought were awful dress shoes that did not match the display shoe (face-palm).  (Going back, I found none of them matched that shoe!)  But I got the idea to tape some paper towel into my broken Air Monarch shoe, and got back out walking.

So green, so blue. (May 14 3:50 p.m.)

Looking-like-a-dork-with-a-mask-on aside, I was grateful for the sun and fresh air.

Dandelions.  Dandelions, everywhere. (May 18 3:17 p.m.)

With all this pandemic and complications from it, I’d almost forgot that everything had been blooming.

(May 11 12:26 p.m.)

It’s spring!  I need to cover spring in the blog! Continue reading Season’s Greetings

Growth in isolation

(Mar 21 3:27 p.m.)

Oh, the places you’ll go after moving to a city with so many stores within walking distance.  And so many firsts.  And not just the Firsts of the day program I attended, such as visiting a fire department and a police department, or the Firsts of the new residence, such as the first snowstorm, or first long power outage.

We’ve had quite a few dumps of snow here.  It’s Maine, after all. (Jan 19 3:08 p.m.)

Or first frozen hard-boiled egg because I put a salad too far back in the fridge; or other more trivial things like first nosebleed, or first ant; it was no April Fools joke to see that a-hole ant in my room the first of this month.

(Mar 5 7:25 p.m.)

But firsts like restaurants I’ve never visited before, from greasy burger joints (sometimes those hit the spot), to a Chinese buffet of many types of food, to a native-Spanish-speaking Mexican restaurant.  My mother and I had gone out less and less over time until it was rare that we ever did, but ever since I moved out, we’ve gone out twice a week, for lunch or a movie.  I’ve now had more pizza and lasagna in months than I had in years.  And on one part of my desk sits a pile of tickets. 🙂

(Jan 14 3:59 p.m.)

Often, we’d walk thru the Mall, and eat at the food court, even if the food we got didn’t come from the court.

(Jan 28 3:26 p.m.)

And… then the economic struggles hit home.  Across the country, stores and whole malls have been struggling for years.

The lights are on, and the room is loud, but the place is nearly empty. (Jan 28 3:31 p.m.)

But never would we guess what would come next.

(Mar 19 2:41 p.m.)

The coronavirus SARS-2 pandemic was the second punch that shuttered the rest and a great deal of U.S. commerce in general. Continue reading Growth in isolation

Trees, trains, trials and tribulations

(Dec 18 2:06 p.m.)

Well.  I’ve been gone long enough that you may be wondering what happened to me.  What can I say?  I’ve been busy and distracted.  I’ve settled in the group home, and for months it’s been one change after the next, in staff, and loud laughter, and spontaneous clapping by a roommate who revolves around the living room TV, most often channel surfing music videos.  (It didn’t take long for him to wear out the batteries in the Roku remote.)

(Nov 22 12:07 p.m.)

And then you count the chores we’re all used to—e.g., doing dishes… but then cleaning up others’ messes, which is not something I signed up for.  And that includes staff leaving plates and utensils in the sink.  Sometimes people don’t learn to not put utensils in the garbage disposal sink; they fall in.  To top it off, some areas are never cleaned despite the obvious warning of mold and ants come summer unless I bother.  Can you sense my frustration?

(Dec 6 3:35 p.m.)

Oh, and now the staff knock on my bedroom door to “check up on me” at times, even if it means waking me.  And on program days, I’m awake anyway for the unpredictable Logisticare service that’s so awful one of its drivers, who was already late, pushed his hybrid car so hard it broke down on the highway, Friday, with fumes entering the car.  Other out-of-the-ordinary things have been happening in the last few days; I lost a receipt as if it disappeared out of thin air.

So I’ve been pushed and pulled around in many little different ways that add up, and it becomes not only frustrating but time-consuming on top of that day program I’ve been too timid to end.  (Still, what do I do if I end it?  Always out of the loop, I don’t have ideas.)

(Dec 5 8:13 p.m.)

One plus: I’ve learned to cook pasta pretty well.

Nevertheless, peace and quiet is harder to find.  And without good ideas and new ideas, or fulfilling relationships, I’m not satisfied enough to rest.  So after a share of social media and informative videos, I don’t get enough sleep and can’t find my voice or be bothered to write a string of words longer than a tweet or two.  But surely I could have posted here, right?

Cabela’s! (Dec 13 2:20 p.m.)

I blame Twitter.  Again.

It’s addictive or seemingly welcoming but to the point of being oversaturated, and in a way apathetic towards thoughtful blogging, even though the platform was intended for micro-blogging.  Today, you can find endless retweeting of one-offs that serve the warning that quality is not appreciated nearly as much as retweeting among tribes.  Like any social media, the more you stand out in the “wrong” way, the less you will be heard.  And it all happens in real-time, further manipulated by Twitter’s popularity algorithm.

(Nov 20 3:08 p.m.)

But I digress.

The rush of the holiday seasons was rather pronounced at the Goodwill in Biddeford.  Christmas trees and decorations were on sale over a week before Thanksgiving.

Continue reading Trees, trains, trials and tribulations

Greening up

(May 30 4:20 p.m.)

The trees at home are finally filling up like other parts of the bloomin’ state.  And it seemed to happen quickly given just a week ago:

(May 22 10:41 a.m.)

Leaves have left the immature and soft stage, and entered the developed and glossy stage… with insect bites.

Apologies for the iPhone’s persistence in making the brown leaves gray. (May 30 4:21 p.m.)
Mar 22 2:37 p.m.

The little purple flowers have popped up, as well as tiny white.

Continue reading Greening up

Spring is here! …mostly.

(Apr 11 5:05 p.m.)

Yeah, it snowed again, about a week ago.  But that’s Maine for you.  It can snow “unexpectedly” in Spring.  That isn’t to say we’re the only state that gets snow in April.  Some parts of the U.S. got blizzard conditions.  (And Texas got a dust storm.)

(Apr 13 4:31 p.m.)

But, with rising temperatures and rain, it soon began to clear up.  The white stuff vanished in two days, save a few patches.

(Apr 13 4:32 p.m.)

The mini-lake in the driveway is depleted, but some of the ground is still saturated.  Squish, squash, splosh. Continue reading Spring is here! …mostly.

Spring update

(May 18 3:23 p.m.)

Between sunny days and rainy days.

(May 21 3:23 p.m.)

It has gotten pretty green out there.  Compare to nearly two weeks ago:

“Porch plant” forming leaves. (May 10 1:53 p.m.)
(May 2 3:58 p.m.)

It also got a bit purple in the sky.

(May 3 5:03 p.m.)

So let’s start from the turn of May, and observe the progression from there. Continue reading Spring update

The warm before the storm

(Jan 3 1:32 p.m.)

So it was a relatively warm day, the third day into the new year.  22°F.  Still cold, yes, but not bitter cold; walking outside wasn’t painful.  I still had the idea to put on gloves, since yesterday, due to the low humidity with the cold; a few fissures have formed on the back of some of my fingers.  (Some spots of blood.)

It seems the warmth contributed to how I slept for maybe 9 hours.  (Not that my memory or thinking is sharp.)

Thick ice on a railing. (Jan 3 1:56 p.m.)

It had been around zero Fahrenheit for days, and it shows.

(Jan 3 1:57 p.m.)

The icicles in this photo would be longer if we weren’t breaking them.  I spent some time removing ice and snow from tree branches hanging low due to frozen water weight; one branch around back was up to around head level after I was done with it.  The small porch tree also has its share of ice, as you can (partly) see above.

Branch debris. (Jan 3 1:50 p.m.)

A larger tree along the path had already lost enough ice and snow thru melting to be well over our heads.  The weather (and our own actions, moving branches out of the way) left a lot of small debris.

(Jan 2 11:54 a.m.)

Tuesday was still a cold, droopy Winter mess scene.

(Jan 3 1:51 p.m.)

Icicles had been forming all over the place; Wednesday, I found that some have dropped.

All this warmth, of course, isn’t going to last.  There is a winter storm approaching.  Meteorologists call what has been forming a “Bomb Cyclone.”  Much of the world is hot, while north America is cold.  There’s snow in Florida.  A frozen switch (or the confusion of one) in Savannah led to a train derailment.  This storm weather comes almost exactly 20 years after the 1998 ice storm that left millions without power for days upon days and cost billions of dollars in damage.

Yeah, from the looks of it, it seems impossible to enter. (Dec 29 2:37 p.m.)

So… soon people in the northeast (including me) are going to be seeing more of this stuff and then some.

Diffuse sun during light snow. (Dec 29 2:37 p.m.)

And less of the sun…

Last photo taken for the year. (Dec 30 4:51 p.m.)

…and the moon.  And no, I didn’t bother to take a photo of the January 1 supermoon; it was way too @%!#ing cold for that.

(Dec 29 3:05 p.m.)

We’ll see, about the storm, how bad it will be for us.

(Dec 29 2:04 p.m.)

Wish us luck! 🙂

Well, that’s it for now.  I have more December photos to share, but it’s now 3 in the morning, and I would like to get something up before the power potentially goes out.

Until next time…

(Jan 2 12:51 p.m.)

May 2018 be a good year.

Snowblower fumes, day two

(Dec 26 9:30 a.m.)

It was the greatest Christmas present Maine could offer: a snowstorm.  (It would also be noted that ‘great’ can mean ‘greatly bad.’ …And also we weren’t the only state to be hit with snow; Pennsylvania just got 53″ over two days.)

But I’ll start with the more peaceful aspects of the past few days.

(Dec 23 10:17 p.m.)

The small (plastic) tree was adorned with some lights, and presents were gathered. Continue reading Snowblower fumes, day two