Monday, June 5, 2023


School is winding down, and even if the calendar says summer doesn't start until June 21, it always seems like Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the season.

Despite the fact that I had just run 5 days in a row, I couldn't waste a holiday day off, so I headed out for a run on the cart paths and around the Heath on Monday morning to start off the day. Feeling rather creaky, and the Coros says my recovery level is at 0% or "exhausted" ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜œStill, nice morning for a slow meander, and came home to find the iris buds starting to emerge. (6.1 miles)

Then after lunch it was off to pick up my parents for our annual "ladyslipper walk" in the Commons. It was a nice afternoon for a walk in the woods, and we managed to count 496 ladyslippers ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’– As usual,  we followed up our walk with a trip to Fielder's Choice for ice cream! Always a fun excursion! (1.9 miles walked)

Wednesday, I got out for a mid-morning run on the powerlines in between work projects. Warm and breezy, and two days, later, the iris are in bloom! (6.6 miles)

Thursday evening was Sam's spring choral concert, the last of her middle school career! Hard to believe that 8th grade is almost over. Where does the time go?!๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ญIrene and Dana came up for the concert, so Sam had all the grandparents there ๐Ÿ˜Š

Friday morning, I headed downtown to the farmer's market and then over to the Commons for a run. A very warm, humid and heavy morning. Definitely felt like summer!! 202 ladyslipper counted, lots of starflowers in bloom, some lovely rhodies out in Coleman Farm and Bobolinks chattering and flying above the buttercup-covered Pennelville fields. Found a few lupine too, and breathed in that sweet, heady smell of honeysuckle - so lovely. (6.6 miles)

Ryan and Dana played a round of golf while I was out, and then once we were all back and showered, the four of us headed into town for lunch before Irene and Dana headed home. It was a nice visit! Then it was off to get a few errands done and for Ryan to head to Chalk Pond for his weekend with the boys. Abby came over for a sleepover, and we went to Little Toyko for dinner and then to Gelato Fiasco of course! A fun day.


Friday evening, the rain started to fall and it did not let up much at all all weekend long. Not to mention, that after temps in the high 80s on Friday, temps fell and stayed in the mid 40s through the weekend as well. So much for summer! 

The girls slept late on Saturday and with such dreary weather, I was in no rush to get out the door. Finally decided to suit up and head out around 12:30, just as it started to pour rather heavily.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ’ฆ Ha! Ran out on the powerlines, and surprisingly, had the trails to myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰Wild sarsaparilla, sheep laurel and iris in bloom. (8.2 miles)

Mom and Dad suggested dinner at Harraseeket Lunch, and despite the wind and rain and cold temps, we enjoyed a yummy fried seafood dinner -  indoors, of course ๐Ÿ˜‚ - and the pretty harbor view!

Sunday did not dawn much different, and it was cold enough that I actually turned back on the heat! Finally got out the door around 10:30 for my run into the cold rain. Brrr. Ran a road loop around town to finish up a much-needed down week of running. (10.1 miles)

This pretty much sums up how I felt about the weather ๐Ÿ˜‘

And Gigi agrees ๐Ÿ˜น

Monday, May 29, 2023


Got in a nice walk around the Bath block on Monday during swim practice. Good to get a bit of movement in. (2.0 miles)

I really had planned on running on Tuesday morning but that didn't happen and then I had meetings all day long include a 4:00 and a 5:00 meeting, so the run just did not happen. Apparently this is just the trend in my running life right now...

Worked from home on Wednesday and got out at 3:00 for a run on the cart paths and around the Heath. Felt a bit creaky. Nice, if sort of humid, afternoon. (6.0 miles)

The cala lillies are coming up in the Heath

Bunchberries emerging

Another afternoon run on Thursday, this time on the cart paths. Windy! (6.0 miles)

The rhodora is fading but still beautiful

Val texted after I had gone to bed on Friday night wondering if anyone was up for a mountainside run at Brad in the morning. I had already planned to head over there for some hills, so that worked perfectly! I wasn't sure exactly what she was thinking but Anne had said she was up for 6 miles, so I figured I'd go early to get in a few miles and finish up with them. Did a few errands around town and then finally started my run around 9:15. Ran up to the summit, down Tote and then out on Boundary. I figured I would have just enough time to run back up to the summit if I took the Summit Trail down. I think I came into the lot at 9:59:45 ๐Ÿ˜‚ Val had her route planned out - up Switchback, down Terrace, up Ski to Northern Loop overlook and then reverse - so Anne and I just tagged along and we chitter chattered the whole way. It was fun to catch up and fun to have someone in charge of the hills! After two full repeats, Anne peeled off, but I still had a mile to run to hit 10 miles, so I headed back up Switchback and down Terrace with Val before heading back to the lot, which turned out to be pretty much perfect for the mileage I wanted! The ladyslippers were out, and the patch of lily of the vally along the Northern Loop was smelling wonderfully sweet. Lots of wild indian cucumbers in bloom and some blue bead lily and bunchberry too. (10.1 miles)

My allergies have been rough this year, and by the time I got home after a few more errands, my eyes were itching like crazy! I took a shower and then decided I would sit inside and read my book at swim practice instead of walking. I think the wind along with the dryness this year (well, with the exception of the few torriential rains we've had) have exacerbated things in the allergen department, at least for me. Oh well. Things should be settling down here soon. 

Didn't get a great sleep and still feeling really congested, so stuck with a shorter run on Saturday morning. Ran a road loop around town. Two ospery were soaring at bridge height over the Androscoggin, which was fun to see, the Dame's Rockets are in bloom along the bike path, and the honeysuckle and lilacs were smelling lovely. (8.0 miles)

Later in the afternoon, we headed out to Harpswell to hang out with the Dosties at the Point. Always fun to get out to the coast! Beautiful afternoon but very breezy. We had a nice time catching up, playing corn hole and of course, Anne and Sam got in the water. Crazy Maine kids! ๐Ÿ˜†But not just the pool, they went into the ocean too. Brrr!

Sam spent the night, so Ryan and I made our way home after dinner, and I got up and out around 8:00 on Sunday for the first part of my run as the plan was for Emily to join me at 9:30 for 10 miles. I meandered around on the roads and trails, running the Highland trail, then down on the Town Landing trail along the Androscoggin and then up and over Mt. A and along the back road. Really nice morning, but I was already soaked by the time I got back to the house in advance of Emily's arrival. Getting warm out there!

It was great to have a chance to catch up with Emily and have some company for the rest of the run. We ran out on the powerlines, looped around on the Foreside trails and then skirted the Gone Fishing trails for a nice lollypop. Definitely downright hot by the time we finished up, but I was glad to feel at least reasonably decent and to get in some good miles to wrap up the week. Didn't take many photos as we were too busy chatting away ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Š (18.0 miles)

I took a quick shower, and then we headed into town to grab some sandwiches to go and sit at Moderation and eat and have a drink. A fun morning! Then it was off to Harpswell to pick up Sam and sit on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Ryan and I broke out Wingspan, a bird strategy game that they got for me for Mother's Day. Fairly complex with some rather intense instructions, so we only made it through one round of play. I did not quite have the mental capacity for anything more ๐Ÿ˜ But I think it will be a fun one once we get the hang of it!

Sunday, May 21, 2023


There's that shimmer in the landscape right now. The neon greens of the new leaves and the burst of color from the blooming flowers. There was also a whole lot of shimmering going on on Saturday night at the Taylor Swift concert down in Foxborough, but more on that later! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Monday was a planned zero day with a busy work day ending with a late afternoon meeting. Tuesday, Sam had her annual physical after school so I should have gotten up to run early before work, but did I? No, no, I did not. However, once we got home, I did manage to at least get out for a short walk around the school block for a bit of movement before getting dinner ready. (1.77 miles walked)

And so, as seems to be theme here, the running week started on Wednesday with a road run across the river. Nice, bright, cool morning with the scent of lilacs in the air and an eagle soaring over the Androscoggin. (7.0 miles)

Took Thursday off from work, which meant some extra busyness at the start of the week but which was also a welcome break, as there is a lot going on there right now. And I have a fair amount of PTO, so why not use it? And, mostly I figured it made sense to get in my long run and some of my typical errands done so that I wasn't rushing around as much on Friday in the hopes that I would go into Saturday a bit better rested. I knew it was going to be a long day/night/into the next day and while it would also no doubt be pretty awesome, I was pretty much guaranteed to be exhausted ๐Ÿ˜œ

So after dropping Sam at school and getting a few quick errands crossed off the list, I headed over to the field house for a Brunswick trail and road loop. Windy and a bit chilly, but nice and bright out. Also incredibly dry, which seems amazing after all that rain just a few weeks ago. There was dust and pollen flying up everywhere. Ran out through Crystal Spring Farm, wandered around not quite knowing where the various meandering trails would take me in the extended Commons after I was thwarted from the crossing I was hoping to take by a large beaver dam, and then ran out through Pennelville to Coleman Farm and back through the Commons. Bobolinks are out in the Pennelville fields - hurray! Always a lovely sight! - and although I saw a few birdwatchers out there who told me they had gotten glimpses of things, I didn't see much else. The ladyslippers are starting to show themselves along the trail's edge, a few of the rhodies were in bloom out in Coleman Farm and there is still a lot of nice color out there, but the early spring ephemerals like the trout lilies have already passed. Definitely felt a bit tired and didn't push for more miles, but happy to have gotten in some good time on feet and time out on some of my favorite trails! (16.0 miles)

False lily of the valley was everywhere

Wild oats

Ladyslipper! ๐Ÿ˜

Crystal Spring Farm

Thwarted by the top hitting other trees. All that work for naught! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Fringed polygala

Coleman Farm views


Wood anemone

Still some goldthread hanging on...

In the home gardens, the bleeding heart is in bloom and looking lovely out back, but the groundhogs ate the flowers off the columbine ๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday, I met up with Anne for a run on the Scuffle course at Brad. Great to catch up with her and get in some miles. Legs felt fairly decent after Thursday's long run, so that was encouraging, but the allergens were not my friend - eyes were sooo itchy! (6.0 miles)

Then it was a walk around the Bath block during afternoon swim practice. All the lilacs were in bloom. That smell! (2.0 miles walked)

Saturday morning, I headed out around 7:15 to get in some miles before I headed south with Sam and Anne for the Taylor Swift concert. Nice, if rather humid, morning. Jack in the pulpits are out along their stretch in the woods along the snowmobile trail! ๐Ÿ˜(10.0 miles)

Always love the rhodora!

Forget me nots

Black chokeberry

Needless to say, there was much excitement as we headed off for Foxborough around 11:30! The forecast was calling for rain all afternoon and evening, pretty much everywhere along the coast, so we brought ponchos and I threw my running raincoat in my bag too, plus we had a full change of clothes for everyone for after the show. The drive started off well enough, and we even ran into Sam and Anne's friend Rohan and her mom at the rest area when we stopped for lunch, who had seats in a nearby section at the concert, but after that stop, the estimated arrival time just kept getting pushed further and further back as the traffic piles up. It was fairly frustrating, but there was nothing to be done except do a bit of swearing and just keep driving torturously slowly towards the stadium ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜œ The rain had already started by the time we parked in the free parking lot, so we donned our ponchos and headed across the street with the rest of the crowds.


Trading friendship bracelets! Sam made over 30 bracelets before the show ๐Ÿ˜Š

We got our merch and finally made our way up to our seats way up high in the stadium. For "bad" seats, we honestly didn't have a terrible view, as they had big screens up and the stage came way out into the middle of the stadium. We managed to find Meaghan and Rohan to say hi, got some food, went to the bathroom, and came back out in the middle of the opening acts. The rain ebbed and flowed through for the first few hours, but it was windy enough that I was happy to have both my poncho and raincoat on, and Sam put on her new hoodie over her sparkly top to stay warm.

The show was truly incredible, and the performance that Taylor put on was really an athletic feat. She played for well over 3 hours without any breaks to speak of, and on top of it, much of it was in the pouring rain. At one point, she was literally wiping the deluge of rain off her piano. It was crazy! Up in the stands, we slowly but surely got more and more soaked. Even with my raincoat and poncho, I could feel the rain start to seep through, and our hands were so wet for so long, our fingers were all pruney. But no matter, the girls had a blast, belting out the lyrics to every song she played, and were just so excited to be there! It was a joy to be able to share the experience with them ๐Ÿ’—

Can you see the rain?! ๐Ÿ’ฆ

So much excitement! 

She did multiple costume changes as she sang through her "eras"


While I didn't know all the songs by heart like Sam and Anne, and most of the fans around us, I enjoyed the performance, how real Taylor seemed, and how much she seemed to be enjoying it. Plus, of course, she did play a lot of the songs I have come to know and love, and that was so much fun!

In the final hour, the rain really started to come down, and this tweet pretty much sums it up. So very wet! ๐Ÿ˜‚

And then of course, after the concert ended, the walk back to the car was in a full-on deluge, and we were walking through rivers of rain on the sidewalks and got even more soaked. But we were still smiling, even if we desperately wanted the police to let our crowd cross the road to the parking lot!!! Really truly it was so much fun ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

We got back to the car a little after midnight, shed our wet layers and got into the line to exit, which did not move one inch for a full hour. I had had a snack and a Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew right when we got back to the car, and so by then, I really needed to pee, so I pulled back into a parking spot to use the porta-potty and then decided we would just sit in the parked car and try to sleep for a bit instead of getting back in line and just getting frustrated that we weren't moving. I did actually manage to fall asleep for a bit, because the next thing I knew, Sam was saying "Mom, all the cars have gone, it's time to go" and it was 2:08 am! So back into the now-moving out of the parking lot line, we got, and off we headed. Definitely very slow until we got onto 95 but then things thinned out a ton and it was smooth sailing back home, even if I was pretty much doing everything I could to distract myself from falling asleep in the final 30 minutes. We got home a little after 5:00 am and prompted fell into bed. I wish I could say I slept like the girls did, but I was in and out of sleep for a few hours and finally got up around 8:30.

Honestly, the whole thing was sort of like crewing an ultra, lots of driving, waiting, hurrying up to wait, bad food, dehydration, little sleep, crazy weather, and caffeine to stay awake, except that of course it also involved 3+ hours of an awesome concert. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I pretty much survived on bad pizza, a family size pack of peanut butter m&ms, too little water and the coffee from noon on, plus a few handfuls of goldfish around 3:30 am when I realized I was starved, so I had two breakfasts and lunch before I finally felt alive enough to head out for a run around 1:00 pm on Sunday. Felt good to move even if it was more of a shuffle ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด So much water out there on the powerlines from all the rain, and the bunchberries are starting to come out. (7.0 miles)

Blue-eyed grass


And just to keep up the silly cat amusement, here are a few Gigi photos for the week ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ป