Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

We have been having a wonderful holiday. Claire and I spent Christmas in Green Bay with my family, which was really nice. I've said before that this year was the first time that Claire really understood Santa's role, and it was great fun. On Christmas Eve I was explaining that Santa would come, and she naturally wanted to stay awake for the event. But after I told her that Santa wouldn't come until she was asleep, she literally ran to her room, jumped in bed and went to sleep. I went in to check on her not five minutes after, and she was out. I wish every night could be that easy! And on our last night at my parent's house, the neighbors had a pretty big fireworks show. A nice send off!

After Christmas, Claire and I stayed in Green Bay for Tim-O-Thee's basketball tournament. It was so nice to see everyone. Most of the Wisconsin people were there, and special appearances were made by Carly and Maeve. It was a lot of fun. Someone had an idea to spell out 'Go Tim-O-Thee on our shirts, and it worked out perfectly until we got to the game and found out we all couldn't sit together. But the effort was there, and honestly, the fun was in putting it together anyway.

Claire loved watching the cheerleaders doing their lifts and such...

And we cheered for Tim a lot, and for good reason. He had a great game (he's number 21).

There are more Christmas and basketball pictureson flickr.

I don't think we have any plans for ringing in the New Year tonight, other than watching the Packer game, even though it looks like the odds we'll make it into the playoffs are not very good. Its still a rare treat for Mike and I to watch a Packer game, so we'll enjoy it anyway. And speaking of Mike, we are all very excited to see him, he flies in tonight!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Holidays!

John and Mom are here visiting in Portland for the week. Drew arrived from California today and the best part of all, we're dog-sitting our dog friend Bear for the week! He is a bullmastiff and weighs 140lbs. Amazingly, he is small for his breed! We have had adventures at the YMCA, hiking in the gorge, hiking in Forest Park and trips to the airport at 3:ooam. Everyone enjoyed yummy food, ordered from New Seasons, for Christmas and a peaceful service at the Unitarian Universalist Church. As soon as I am able to, I'll get a hold of the pictures of our beautiful tree, appropriately named "Polly" by sister Emily ( :

Happy Holidays to all, sending lots of love from the northwest!
Maighie (edited by Emma)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunny Skies Again.

Another fantastic day in Maine. I can't believe its been so nice. Yet again today we were treated to temperatures in the upper 50's and bright sunny skies. So we spent the day outside at Wolfe's Neck State Park in Freeport, Maine. Its not a very big State Park, but they do have over 5 miles of trails through the woods and along the ocean and Harraseeket River. The trails were perfect, easily walkable for Mike and I, but just a great challenge with tree roots, rocks, inclines and declines for Claire. It was very peaceful, and of course, very beautiful. We didn't do a lot of planning, so we were pretty lucky that we went during low tide. It looks like the water gets pretty high:

We even got our family picture for the Halberg Phone Directory taken care of!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December What?

So far, the end of this year has been mild. Or so I've been told. Since this is our first winter in Maine, we don't have anything to compare it to. But on days like today, anyone can tell its unseasonably nice out. I don't know what the 'official' temperature today was, but when my thermometer read 57 degrees, Claire and I jumped in the car and went to the beach.

You just have to take advantage of these warm days. I keep thinking that this will be it, from here on in its going to get chilly...and then it doesn't. Or hasn't yet, anyway. Its exactly what Eric was just talking about. In Hawaii, 75 degrees is cold enough to wear a sweatshirt. In Maine, 57 degrees in December is warm enough to head to the beach without a jacket. I kind of hope it cools off soon, I want to see some snow out here!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thanksgiving - finally!

Emily and I have been asked to join the fabulously famous Halblog! We will be posting pictures from the "other" Portland and sharing our adventures on the West Coast. I am looking forward to sharing a blog with 3 wonderful people on the opposite side of the country - too cool! We hope you will enjoy this new addition to the Halblog as well ( :

The post is called "Thanksgiving - finally!" because I have been meaning to post about our trip to Ceour D'Alene, ID for a while now. We had a great trip to Idaho with two of our friends. We stayed with Carly and visited Uncle Matt's school, sailed in his boat with the snow and enjoyed great food provided by the talented chef Jennifer! There was also a trip up to Sandpoint for tea and books, outstanding fireworks, a light display and a holiday parade that included Shane standing on a Fire Engine - too cool! We also saw the new Bond movie Casino Royale, we were all fans. I actually think it may be my favorite Bond movie! Anyway, enjoy the mish mash of pictures.

Love to all,

PS - Mike and Sheila, do you think I could move my flickr badge to your blog main page? I don't know if that's possible...let me know your thoughts ( :

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas is coming!

We cut our own Christmas Tree today, and had a blast. We had it up and decorated in no time. The only thing we were missing was a tree skirt, but a blanket from Granny gives it all the perfect Ironwood flavor.

This is the first year Claire really 'gets' Christmas. She knows its coming and what its about. She helped decorate the tree and now that its up, she plays Pretend Santa and gives Mike and I boxes full of presents (wooden blocks, puzzle pieces and such). Last year she was excited about Christmas, but she definitely wasn't looking forward to it because she didn't know any better. At 2 years old, 'later' just wasn't in her vocabulary, much less "Christmas is on December 25, in a few weeks". So this year is different. Its very fun to see her so excited and point out Christmas lights when we are driving around, or watch her just sit by the tree and look up at it. She also spent the entire morning making Christmas presents for Grandparents, Uncles and Aunt Monnie. She put a lot of thought into each one, and each one turned out absolutely perfect.

Christmas is coming, and we can't wait!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Today Claire and I were driving over a bridge when she noticed some smokestacks and the big puffy white billows of steam coming out.

"Mom, I can see a factory. What do they make there?"
"I'm not sure."
"Hmm...I think its clouds. Its a cloud factory I think."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mackworth Island and Christmas Lights

This weekend we went to Mackworth Island, a State Park just off the coast of Falmouth. Despite the wind (it was actually very windy), we had a great time, and seemed to find something interesting around every corner. There is a trail that loops all the way around (1.4 miles total) that we followed and discovered beaches, a granite wall that sticks out into the ocean, a gigantic pet cemetery, and a part of the forest where you can build houses for the Fairies. We didn't actually stop to build one, and though I did take pictures, they really don't show anything. Maybe because most of the houses people built are pretty small and made out of natural things, like branches. Or maybe because the Fairies don't like having their pictures taken, so they magically altered my pictures. Either way, Fairies obviously enjoy their privacy.

The above picture is the pet cemetery. When I saw it in the woods, I thought "Wow, that's cool. I wonder what that stone circle is about". And then when I got closer I could see all the grave stones inside, and it was downright creepy. But then Mike remembered reading that this is where the original owner of the island buried his pets (horses and dogs according to the headstones), and so it was a little less creepy...but still creepy.

Then, after it got dark out, we went to Old Port to look at the Christmas lights. There are a lot of very cool lights, and in true 'green' Maine form, all of them are LEDs rather than the incandescent bulbs. I've been wanting to see the lights for a while now, and I'm really glad we had the chance.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next to the library in downtown Portland, ME there is an old red brick house which was once Henry Longfellow's. It turns out this famous poet lived in Portland for much of his life and even wrote about Portland in his poem "My Lost Youth" - just as uplifting as it sounds! I read through many of his works last night and my favorite was "The Arrow and the Song" which should bring a smile to your face. There are multiple sites dedicated to Longfellow and he was quite the guy. Interestingly, he graduated from Maine's first college, Bowdoin and he graduated with Nathanial Hawthorn.

Note in the picture above that Longfellow grew a huge sweet beard to cover the scars and burns he suffered trying to save his wife from a house fire.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Tonight we went to Flatbread for an incoming resident interview dinner. We've been to quite few of them now, and Claire knows exactly what to expect. So tonight as we were getting ready, she was goofing around and I told her she had to hurry, or we'd be late. She got very serious and said "Okay Mom, I'll get ready. I don't want to miss dessert." They really do have some amazing desserts. I'm glad to see my daughter has her priorities in line.

Break In

In 2006 Maine was ranked the second safest state in the nation and Portland Maine was named the sixth safest city. I have no idea what went into these rankings, but I do know that my car was broken into last night FOR THE SECOND TIME! As best I can tell these vicious criminals made off with approximately four-five CD's AND broke my $4 CD holder. As for the rest of the junk in my car, I am hoping someone will clean it out sooner rather than later. There are two interesting things that go along with this story.

1. My car was unlocked. In Milwaukee I had my car broken into and it cost me big bucks to replace the window which was used for entry, so now I leave my car open and a break in like todays only costs me about $10 (the CD's were all burned copies of a medical study aid which is so boring it could double as a sleep aid). Now I am not sure what to do. I haven't heard about any other car break-ins in the neighborhood. If I lock my doors like everyone else will my precious junk be protected? I don't think it is worth the risk of getting my window broken in.

2. The first time my car was broken into my neighbor Tim heard the burglers/punks/killer ninjas and pinned one against my car while his wife sang "Bad boyz, bad boyz, whatcha gonna doooo, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" Eventually the police came and Sheila gave a statement. Wow. I'm not sure what I would do if I saw someone breaking into my car. I guess I will have to wait another couple weeks to find out - Ha Ha Ha

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Make a Snowflake

This make-your-own snowflake site has sucked up too much of my time this morning. Its much cooler than the downloadable image here is.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Black Friday, and Happy Birthday Nana!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. One of the other ED residents hosted Thanksgiving dinner last night, so we all went there and stuffed ourselves. Everything was fantastic.

Today Mike went back to work, and I went shopping. I slept in and went around 10am, so I missed the all-out craziness when the stores opened. Last night we drove past Best Buy around 4pm, and there were people waiting in the cold rain outside the doors. There must have been some great deals today. As for me, I was only shopping for myself. And I went grocery shopping. I think the Black Friday deal at the grocery store was that everyone else was at the mall, so the store was empty, which is a pretty good deal I think.

And lastly, Happy Birthday Teresa!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Typical Wednesday

Its been brought to my attention that I'm just not posting as often as I used to. There could be a lot of reasons for that. Claire and I could be so darn busy that I simply don't have the time anymore. Or maybe Claire has figured out how to set up parental controls (after all, parental controls = control the parents, right?) on my computer so that the only websites I can go to now are and Or maybe we haven't really been up to anything exciting, so things to blog about are few and far between.

Yeah, probably that last one. See for yourself.

Yesterday, I tried a new grocery store. We have two options as far as grocery stores go out here, Hannafords or Shaws. Up until now, I've always gone to Shaws. But then Hannaford started sending me these unbelievable coupons in the mail. Free bags of chocolate (they obviously know who does the grocery shopping). Free rotisserie chickens. Whole $10 off your total. So I tried it, and I liked it. Hannaford just has so many cool things. Like trees and 'wood' floors in the produce section. Like a huge floral section. I don't remember ever buying flowers from a grocery store, but Claire loves to run in and smell everything. Or like a bakery you can smell as soon as you walk in. Or like behind the delicatessen counter they have these big ovens (built to look like those domed stone pizza ovens) with big fires to roast chickens and whatever else. Or the seafood section where not only do they have the guy making sushi, but the entire section is tiled into this huge underwater mural. There are just so many cool things to look at. Its the kind of store that when I walk through, I'm not sure if I can afford to shop there. But then at the end, the total isn't any more than the average total at Shaws ever was. So there you go. Maybe its just something new, and therefore cooler, I haven't decided yet. But this is the kind of stuff I've been doing lately. Not all that exciting, really, but now there is a whole post all about it!

And a picture to offset the text. Its an old one, but when you do things like grocery shop during the day, there just aren't that many new pictures to use.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


We spent this weekend in Boston, and we had a great time. Saturday was a fantastic day, mostly sunny and warm. It was a day of very fortunate mistakes for us. First, we completely stumbled upon our hotel by chance. We were just driving around thinking we'd figure out where we were eventually, and then get to the Museum of Science, when the hotel turned up right in front of us. So we dropped off our bags, got directions, and after a series of missed and wrong turns, wound up, accidentally, at Quincy Market. We stopped and took advantage of the mistake and the great weather. Just as we got there, the Veteran's Day Parade started as if it was waiting for us.

After Quincy Market, we made it to the Museum of Science, and it reminded me a lot of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I loved it. And after that, it was back to the hotel (somehow it was more difficult to find when we actually wanted to) and to the pool. This was the hallway/sky walk from the hotel to the pool. I kind of expected the Cowardly Lion to run past us and leap through the glass.

Sunday rained all day, perfect weather for the Children's Museum of Boston, which is by far the coolest children's museum I've ever been to. It was amazing, to say the least. We all had a great time, and I don't think we even came close to seeing half of the exhibits.

I'm sure we'll be doing this again soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the portland headlight

Today we had a weather alert for "over-splashing and flooding at high tide". Tides right now are higher and lower than usual because of "astronomical effects", and the ocean was rough by coincidence. The result was 9-12 foot waves crashing onto the shore. And on a beautiful day like today, I thought it would be a great idea to visit the Portland Headlight at high tide this afternoon and check it out.

It was amazing. The waves pounded the rocks and made everything hazy and soft looking, as you can see in the second and third pictures. It was beautiful, and definitely not like any other time I've been to the Headlight.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted Today.

Stickers all around.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wow! What a lack of posts!

Its been almost a month! We've been having a great time. Jim was in town for a few days and then Claire and I were in Wisconsin for about ten days. We got to spend time in Green Bay, Sun Prairie and Waukesha. We started out in Green Bay. I mostly relaxed, but Claire worked. She helped mow the lawn and tried to teach my mom how to play computer games.

We visited Elissa, Jalyn and Mason for lunch one day.

And then we spent Halloween and a few days after in Sun Prairie. Claire stuck with her first decision and went as a doctor, but she didn't want anything to do with the doctor pants (been reading Eric's blog, maybe?). Halloween night was cold enough that when all was said and done, you couldn't even tell she had a costume on. She got a good amount of candy, but in the end she just wanted to help Bapa hand out candy to the other trick-or-treaters, which lasted until the first monster rang the doorbell.

It was really great to see everyone and good to be home. And now that the trip is over, its also good to be home. There are of course more pictures on Flickr, if you are interested.