Month: December 2020

2020 – The Year in Reflection – Part II

THE SECOND HALFread in an ominous narrator voice:

We were adapting nicely to the Stay at Home life. We felt fortunate to live in Maine, where the coronavirus case numbers and resulting deaths were very low.  It was hard to understand what was happening around the country, as people seemed to almost be getting used to the tragic effects of the pandemic. We interacted with very few people, still limiting our outside world to the grocery store, the dump, and occasionally the hardware store.  Take Out pizza was our one extravagance. We got used to wearing our masks, and knew it was going to be the way for quite some time.


July was an okay month for us: a bit of boating, a few golf outings and visits to the cabin.  We cancelled the Disney trip planned for December – so much for a stay at the Grand Floridian, and a visit with Chrisie, Yan, and Louie.  I completed a 30 Faces in 30 Days challenge and had lots of fun, although no one is hiring me as a portrait artist. Lou did some work on the railroad, but was still sorting through how to coordinate his projects between two homes.


This brings us to August, and it is the month where the real Sh#$ Show began. I ended up in the hospital in Portland for 3 long weeks.  This didn’t just impact me. Lou’s life was upended as he became the sole provider for the pups – with Teresa’s generous help as he made regular two hour trips to boost my spirits.  I was home by Labor Day, thankful to escape with only a minor case of PTSD.


September ended up being as good as August was bad. The traveling sisters, Catherine and Beth, arrived to spend two weeks with us.  They helped with my recovery, entertained Lou, and ate half the lobster in Waldo County.  My kidney function returned, and there was no need for more dialysis. Yay – take that, 2020 !!!  We also got to host Kathy and Steve at the cabin, and enjoyed fall colors at the end of the month and the first week in October.


October and November ran together.  Life was mostly normal, with perhaps a few more medical appointments than desired. We got a dusting of snow in October, and then more in November.  We had planned to meet up with Kathy and Steve in the mountains for Thanksgiving.  Had to cancel as Lou had a short visit to the ER and an overnight stay at the hospital. Hoping next year brings a return to celebrating with friends.


It is the last day of December, 2020, and I can barely remember what happened this month. That is either a reflection of my aging memory, or the override of just wanting 2020 to be gone.  First, the positive; we timed the first big snowstorm perfectly, and were in Sugarloaf to experience over a foot of snow in the first week of December. Then, we saw almost six inches at the coast later in the month.  Snow brings peace and joy, even in these troubled times.  I also enjoyed a few hours of watching Tory’s Volleyball Tournament in Southern California, via Instagram Live.  


Christmas was planned for the cabin, and I even decorated the tree, ready for the big day. But the Fates of 2020 had other plans for us. Lou’s pre-Christmas fall made travel unwise and we hunkered down in Northport. No worries, Christmas is still waiting for us in Sugarloaf. Lou outdid himself with the best prime rib dinner ever, enjoyed in the company of Pat and Donna.


A few other minor events to close out the year; Stitch also took a fall and needed a vet visit to confirm he just strained his knee – the same left side as Lou. Oh, and my hair has started falling out. So 2020. A quick email discussion with Doctor S,  and I ended up getting more lab tests done.  I also told her about Lou’s fall and she responded with “Please be boring in 2021.”



Sadly, the woe of 2020 wasn’t just about us.  Good friends are dealing with serious illness, major surgeries,  and others have lost loved ones. Our hearts go out to Yan, who lost his Mother in Indonesia just  before Christmas.

The approval of vaccines for COVID 19 is heartening, but we know we have months to go.  Unfortunately, Maine cases of coronavirus have risen drastically in the last month – up from 20 a day to over 400, with some days topping out in the 700s.  Record numbers continue on the national level as well, so we won’t be making any travel plans soon.

This has been a long recap of 2020 from our perspective. We sincerely wish a better 2021 for all.  And while we certainly had our share of bad stuff happen in 2020, we are grateful to have recovered, and to be mostly healthy and happy.


Be Safe !!!

2020 – The Year in Reflection – Part I

Just finished going back and rereading all of the 2020 posts – needed to check photo formatting, since software updates messed up some of the photo sizing.  It also was a good opportunity to remember the gifts of 2020.

January and February were nice and normal for us.  Lou traveled to a model train convention and I started dabbling in food photography.  Lou even tried to teach me to cook again, but I am not the best student.


We traveled out of state in February – flying to Arizona to spend a great weekend with Beth and Todd. And then we got to visit with Karen and Tom for the rest of the week. It was an awesome trip, and little did we know, it would be – not the highlight, but the only light in our out of state travel for the year!


Trip cancellations started in March. As we learned about the global pandemic, we opted to cancel our bare boat charter in the Caribbean.   As March unfolded, I became obsessed with people hoarding toilet paper and beans. Maine entered lockdown, and about the only places we went were the grocery store and the dump.  It was early March, before the Pandemic was declared, when we started looking at the possibility of getting a cabin in the mountains.


April was spent experiencing our new normal, following Maine’s Stay-at-Home guidelines. We cancelled a planned trip to Disney World – we missed out on stays at the Boardwalk and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I did photography in the basement, and Lou worked in his train room – really not much different from our non-quarantine life. This is also when Lou started to cook, cooking a lot of comfort food. He has always cooked, but he amped it up a level.


May was more of the same, just us perfecting our Stay at Home lifestyle. Much of the month was consumed with final decisions, and then closing on the new cabin in the mountains. It was also time to get the boat out of storage, and we did hook up with Pablo and Joy.  It was nice to see real people.  After much back and forth with the governor’s office, Maine golf courses were allowed to open with very strict COVID-19 rules.  We were cautiously optimistic about having a mostly normal summer, even if we did need to wear face masks.


June arrived, and we made another cancellation – there was no way we would be joining 100 other people on a boat for the National Geographic Cruise through the Canadian Maritimes in September.  Fortunately, our disappointment was tempered by our first trips to the cabin. We enjoyed getting to know our new home and the surrounding area. We also managed a few boating excursions, and I started my iPainting classes – learning to draw and paint with the iPad and Apple Pencil.


I will end this post now, having covered half the year.  The major news for the first half of 2020 was the arrival of the pandemic.  We were mostly protected from the impacts of the coronavirus, and only slightly inconvenienced by the Stay at Home orders. Travel was cancelled,  but we replaced the lost trips with other activities closer to home.

Part II coming up – what does the second half of the year have in store?

Boys will be Boys

Lou is still recovering from the after effects of his fall.  He is going through the bruising stage.  It has to be sore, but he is a good sport.

Stitch couldn’t stand to be left behind. He did something to his left rear leg. We thought it was getting better, but he has still been favoring it a lot. Took him to the vet today … whew, his diagnosis is a hyperextended knee.  Just a strain, no tear, and no apparent hip issue.  Glad it is nothing worse, but we have to try to keep him from running around too much.

So both boys are hobbling around with bad left legs. A fitting end to 2020.

Be Safe!

A Happy Memory

One year ago, we saw the most beautiful sunrise since we moved to Maine.


This day was also when we said goodbye to the last of our California guests. That was sad, but we were happy because we had so enjoyed the visit from Beth, Catherine, Mark, Olivia, and Tory.  Sure made it a little easier to experience the quiet Christmas of 2020.

Be Safe!!!

The Animals are Attacking

Something crazy is going on in Maine…it started when Kathy sent a photo of her garden area – an angry buck had knocked down the gate – knocked it right off the hinges.  Steve heard it snorting.  Maybe it was mad there were no more vegetables.


Then Lou asked if I had seen our moose … 

I asked if the wind had blown it down?  He said, nope – it was attached to the posts with heavy nails. Apparently it is mating season – wonder who was attracted to our guardian moose (he stands in front of the old steps to stop anyone from going down)?

Probably best not to be wandering around alone during the night or early morning.


Be Safe!!!

Chef Louie Strikes Again!

You didn’t really think Lou would let the holiday go by with just bratwurst for dinner, did you?  Although I will say, the bratwurst was a treat after trying to eat mostly healthy for the past few months.

Lou outdid himself once again. He cooked a beautiful standing rib roast and all the trimmings. The meat came out perfect, and we enjoyed a delicious meal. Our friends, Donna and Pat, joined us. As I mentioned before, they are in our neighborhood bubble (the only ones, I might add).  Pat brought a nice salad (forgot to get a photo!), and Donna supplied dessert. They also each brought an appetizer.




The roast was perfect, and we all went back for seconds and more. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, peas & carrots, and salad.


Donna surprised us with chocolate mousse with raspberries and whipped cream. A nice way to top off an amazing meal.

A sincere thanks to Lou for cooking such a nice meal, even though he is still a bit sore from the fall. And we appreciate having such wonderful neighbors and friends to help us celebrate the season. Thank you for joining us, Donna and Pat !


Be Safe!