Sunday, March 25, 2012

innkeeper spam

I'm offered $90 off a skydiving adventure on my Groupon email today.  The accompanying picture of an excitement addled woman throwing a double thumbs up as she hurtles to the ground made me so woozy I had to close my eyes and fumble around  blindly for the delete button.   But it made me wonder, are my guests left wanting in the adventure stakes?  Should I offer them something rather more exciting than a good night's sleep and a breakfast served by my charming self?  I suppose I could let them jump off the roof into the compost heap if they wanted to.  No skin off my nose.  They could wade in the pond and see if Moby Leech shows up.  I've seen him. Trust me,  he's exciting.   Or they could swim with the beavers.   My last guest had an exciting shower I'm thinking, because I forgot to turn the hot water back on after the plumber had been here.  Poor man didn't say anything but he was a funny shade of blue when he left.  Our water is from a  well 200 feet down in the icy depths of Maine. 

Also received this in today's batch of emails:
Hello am  Sam and I would like to order for individual chicken salad in your restaurant for 150 people on the 13th April and pick up time is 4pm and it's for my Son Birthday Party and and if you don't serve the above food email me your menu .
The food will be picked up by my courier agent and I am ready to pay the full payment with my credit card so get to me with the following information below......
Restaurant Address:
Total cost for the food:
Personal cell #:

Mostly I get spam having to do with reserving 6 double rooms for honeymoon couples wishing to stay 3 weeks.  This is the first time I've been asked about chicken salad.   I'd be fascinated to meet the innkeeper who believes that 6 couples are honeymooning together.  Or who agrees  to provide a courier with 150 chicken salads.   Or who thinks one lousey redwing blackbird means spring.  Did I mention that it's snowing?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My neighbor burnt his house down

The fire chief, whom I had not seen since the group of Yoga ladies closed the flue in the sittingroom , filled the house with smoke and then called the fire department before calling me, knocked on my door the other day.   " I've come to tell you that your neighbour  Bob Bishop is going to burn his house down on Saturday. "  I've been in Maine long enough to know that the whole story would be revealed to me in good time.  "Oh, really?" I replied.  "Yep," he said.  "Well it's good of you to tell me," I said.  "Yep.  He's going to burn the whole darn thing down."  I nodded.  "Yep.  He gave it to the fire department.  Donated it.  So's we could burn it".  I was beginning to get the picture.   "We got fireman coming from all over to practice on Saturday morning and then at 12 noon we're going to light 'er up and let 'er rip."  I nodded again knowing that Bob Bishop was from 'away' and that this would somehow be part of the unfolding story.  "Yep.  Seems he don't like his house and so he's going to burn it down.  Going to build himself another one that he does like." He paused so I could fully appreciate the wonder of this.  Where exactly I fit into this considering I can't even see my neighbour's house I didn't know.   "I was wondering if we could park some vehicles in your parking area.  And fill up the trucks from your pond." 
Ah.  At last.  "Why, of course," I replied.  And so it came to pass that yesterday, the first real day of spring, warm, sunny, still and beautiful was punctuated by the sound of 13 volunteer firemen's pickup trucks arriving in our driveway, loud speakers, back up beeps, horns, whistles and engines, as well as pumps slurping thousands of gallons of water out of our pond.  And, as billed, at 12 sharp, a huge billow of black smoke started growing in the south followed by bright red flames.  Shortly after this, a blizzard of large black ash flakes rained down upon us as bits of Bob Bishop's unloved house fell onto our heads.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

redwing blackbirds

I've been had.  Looked out my window this morning to see my redwing blackbird sitting there with a pile of snow on his head.  Meanwhile, the Gang of Eight, (my resident blue jays) are just about falling out of the tree, laughing and jumping and pointing to the bedraggled 'harbinger of spring'.  "I cannot BELIEVE you fell for it" they squawked.They hopped around on the deck chair I had placed  on the deck in warm sunshine two days ago.  They pretended to ski down its back, they ice skated on the seat and in a final burst of hilarity, pooped on the picnic table. 

I put on my yaktrax and trudged to the woodpile, noting the sky filled with ducks swirling back and forth.    I have never seen so many.    Easily 60 in a fast count.   Are they coming or going?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

redwing blackbirds

The redwing blackbirds are here!!  Let others ooh and aah over their snowdrops, let southerners tell me about their daffodils.  There is nothing to make our hearts soar more than the blackbirds' return to the marsh.  For a few days now the sky has been full of returning ducks but our landscape is still brown and beige with bits of ice clinging to northern slopes.  The ground here at Blue Skye is still hard as a rock and while our neighbours might have green bits sprouting up here and there, our first real sign of spring is the flash of red epaulets across the wetland and then the royal arrival, swooping in to the feeder just off the deck, scattering chickadees, sparrows, bluejays and other winter residents,  to take their rightful place as returning, reigning royalty.  Their whistle alone reassures us that we have survived another Maine winter and that softer times are just around the corner.  Peter arrived in the middle of breakfast service to tell me the news and to announce that he was going to 'fire up the tractor' and begin to collect debris around the  many branches brought down by ice, chopped sumac that we didn't have time to stack before the first snow.  I'll pack up my yaktrax and finally retire my heavy boots, held together for the last few months by duct tape.  The chess board which has been on the kitchen table all winter might be put away because one gorgeous blackbird has told us that spring is here and that our confinement is at last over.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

computer french

I found a scrap of paper in my desk on which I had jotted down a bit of French - something I'd come across in a novel and had meant to look up.  So, I thought to myself, I'll be modern, rather than go through countless french dictionaries in an attempt at a translation, I'll go on line and look it up.  I typed in 'french to english translations' and up popped numerous possibilities.  I chose one and typed, "En fin de compte - ca revient au meme - De s'enivrer solitairement ou de conduire les peuples."  The translation was immediate. 
"In the end - ca is the same- to get drunk paddy wagon or di lead the peoples". Oh really? I tried again.  I got "When all is said and done - ca di comes back to the meme - to become intoxicated solitairement or drive the people."  I have to say that to become 'intoxicated solitairement ' had more of an Iris Murdoch ring to it than 'get drunk paddywagon' but if it's all the meme to you, I'll look it up in a book, because en fin de compte, I am not modern.