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Posts Tagged ‘trivia’

Day Thirteen: Team Chickpeas, You Can Like Us on Facebook

27 Jun

It started off as another lazy day on the creek. Watching tv, kids fixing themselves a bowl of cereal for breakfast, lazing around the house. I bought some sourdough bread the other day, and made the effort to make some eggs, heat up some bacon, to go with my toast, but there was no urgency to the morning. Eventually, Beau came and asked me if he could go down to the beach by himself. Because the location of our cottage is damn near perfect, and Turbat’s Creek is, frankly, magical, I said of course he could. He needs some time away from me, to explore on his own. Soon his sisters followed suit, heading out to the beach together, under strict orders that if their brother wanted to play with them, fine, but they were not to annoy him if he didn’t. He did pop back up to the house to show me the prize he had discovered on the vast field of seaweed covered rocks – a leather football. Soaking wet, but otherwise in excellent condition. Quite a find. (Later, I did ask the young family renting a house on this street if perhaps it was theirs, and it had just gotten away from them on Vaughan’s, but they said no, so I guess it’s Beau’s now!)

After a bit, I roused myself and changed out of pajamas to take Remy down for his own exercise session. I swear that dog is tireless. I think it entirely possible that he would happily run himself, quite literally, to death. And my goodness has he turned from a dog who loves to fetch into a ball obsessed monster! After awhile I put the ball & chuck-it away, and while the big kids went back up to the house (I’m assuming Minecraft was calling!), Avery & I continued over to Vaughan’s Island. The Lobster Detectives were on the case! The tide was so extremely low, that many of the tidal pools we poke around in were far shallower than usual, and this summer they have also been choked with sea grasses/kelp. Makes it difficult to seek out wildlife in those conditions. But after turning over a rock or two, Avery & I found one baby lobster with a single claw. Feisty, that one. But we just wanted to find them, never touching (have you ever seen how far back a lobster can swivel its claw?!) And after that one, our interest kind of petered out. Now true low tide, Avery headed back up to the house, and I stayed down with Remy, tossing the ball directly into the Atlantic. Watching him bound out into the cold water time and time again. Again I say, he is going to be so angry at me when we leave…

After some beach time everyone made their own lunch, and Beau actually fell asleep on the couch on the screened in porch. I’m guessing this is a growth spurt happening. Fingers crossed it will not necessitate all new clothing! The girls & I got cleaned up a bit and headed into town. I woke Beau to ask if he wanted to join us, but he just wanted to continue napping. We went to a few of our favorite stores down in Dock Square, picking up a postcard here and a t-shirt there. We also had to stop in the Copper Candle to get our Christmas ornament. Every place we travel we get a Christmas ornament as a souvenir. It is always so much fun unwrapping the ornaments in December, and revisiting the memories of our travels and adventures. We now have quite a few Maine ornaments, but I found a new one shaped like a whale, with a hand-painted scene of a lighthouse, and the year. Perfect! As Avery pointed out we went whale-watching for the first time on this trip, and we went to the Portland Head Lighthouse, so it was a good representation of Maine 2016. I also wanted to peruse an antique store or two, but the one I remembered as being so good, is now mostly new things, or vintage reproductions. Still incredibly lovely stuff, and you could easily decorate a gorgeous home from their stock, but I was looking for something a little grittier, some true, you know, old, antiques. I was going to strike out to US-1 in search of some of those we had driven by in the past, but it was getting on in the afternoon, and I figured the kids might not be as excited about this venture as I. So we headed back to the house. Beau was awake, but said he had slept for most of the time we were gone (definite growth spurt). The kids headed back outside to play/explore, and I set about making dinner. Because it was Monday night, and time for another round of responsible parenting…

I know I have mentioned her before, but I have a local friend named Mandy who I adore. She is a nut, just like me. Fun, and funny, energetic, kind, and lovely, and crazy in some of the exact same ways I am, we always have such a great time when we’re together – whether it’s a girls night out, or just sitting side by side on the beach at Turbat’s Creek as our kids play on the rocks and swarm around us. She has a lot going on in her life right now, and has, unfortunately not been available to play with me until tonight. Which I completely understand. I am in KPT on vacation, away from most of my life responsibilities, but she actually lives in Kennebunk, and her responsibilities are raining down on her head daily. But reviving a tradition we started last visit with the powerhouse team of Like Us on Facebook, we met up at Sebago Brewing Company for another go at Monday trivia night. Drinks ordered we began tucking into our potato nachos (normally these things are to die for, but tonight they were overcooked). As I took a bite, I noticed something strange, but recognizable on the plate. It was half a chickpea. Glad that it was recognizably edible food, but what the heck was it doing on our potato nachos? We took it as a sign, and team Chickpeas was born! I wouldn’t say we were exactly crushing it on the trivia, but it’s difficult to properly focus on accessing the useless knowledge storage part of one’s brain, while actively catching up with a dear friend you haven’t seen in two years. And we had much ground to cover: burned barns, gifted children, family, boob wrangling, new/old boy, signs from the universe, microwaved ice cream, and lest I forget, Mandy is now a Major Award Winner, which cannot go un-recognized! My goodness, how we laughed. Deep belly laughs. It definitely counted as an ab workout. And perhaps the most hysterical part was our come from behind victory! Team Chickpeas was quite happily in last place before the Hail Mary round. The final round has three questions, for which you must wager between 1-10 points. If you’re right, you get the points. If you’re wrong, they get deducted. Well, we certainly had nothing to lose, so we intended to bet big no matter what. Here’s the crazy part. We knew the answers to all three questions. Okay, maybe we didn’t *know* the first one, but we both had the same gut reaction answer, so I felt pretty good about that one. And I was positive I *knew* the last two. One of the answers was even “Daytona International Speedway” – holla for the Florida chickpea! Anyway, our score, with an additional 30 points, was good enough for 2nd place!! We were shocked and very amused. Especially since one of the prizes for 2nd place was the metal Sebago Brewing Company sign that I got last week because sweet locals didn’t want their prize. (Funny thing is that as I left the house, Beau had said, “Win another metal sign tonight, Mom. I want one for my room.” I told him no way was I going to let him hang a brewery sign in his room, seeing as how he was only 11 years old, but he shrugged, and told me to win another sign anyway. And we did!) So, in splitting our prizes, Mandy took the sign, and I took the bar towel and bottle opener key chain. Then two boys at the bar, I don’t know if they were the 1st or 3rd place winners, had extra bottle openers, and gave us a few more of those. I’m happy to clip one to my beach bag, and always have a memento of team Chickpeas and our epic trivia adventure.

Another great day, another day I’m thankful that we stretched our rental out to two weeks. It really has been idyllic to just relax in a place we love. Not feel like we *have to* do anything. The kids were even asking me today if we could just buy a house and move here. I loved the innocence of that inquiry. Obviously, my Florida kids, who have only really experienced snow on ski vacations, haven’t the slightest clue what their winter lives would be like, but I do love that they have also come to love, and feel at home in, this place that makes me so happy. Just like Beau’s mug says, I Love ME. And when I’m here, that is especially true for both meanings. I love this place, and I love me. The Maine version of Krista. Me.

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Day Ten: These are a few of my favorite things

02 Jul

Ever have one of those days where several things you love just fall into place? Despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact the weather has turned rainy up in Maine, today was one of those days. I woke around 7am and made my way downstairs, stopping long enough to peek into the kids’ room to see that the littlest one was still abed. The older two were watching tv and playing on the iPads. I ate a bowl of cereal, sat with them for a bit, and then realized that if I wanted to continue reading I could just as well crawl back into my bed, under the covers. It was already a dreary, rainy day, so it’s not like we were rushing to get out onto the beach. In fact, it was the kind of day that demands one crawl back into bed. After reading for a short bit I felt my eyelids getting heavy, so I laid down my book, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. I slept hard. For over an hour! What an amazing morning nap. The windows under the eaves were open so I could hear the wind and rain in the trees, the children were quiet because they were glued to the electronic crack that is the iPad, I was wrapped up cozy in a quilt against the encroaching chill. Oh my goodness. That hour of sleep was some of the best sleep I’ve had in the past 10 days. And I woke feeling refreshed. A perfect nap. Accomplished before 10am.

A little later in the morning I headed into the little Dock Square area of Kennebunkport to poke around in the shops. There were a few places I knew I wanted to go, specific things I wanted to acquire. Had to get my annual Christmas ornament from the Christmas shop. I go to the Whimsy Shop specifically for their oilcloth bags. And I go to the delightfully quirky Daytrip Society because I want every single thing they carry in the store. Every. Single. Thing. (If only I could afford it!) But despite a valiant quest, I still haven’t been able to find a local store that carries Tervis! I really want one that says, “ME”, you know, the state abbreviation for Maine, but also a clever possessive to have on your cup. Yeah, that would be a good find. But also acceptable would be the initials for Kennebunkport (KPT), or perhaps one with the outline of the state of Maine, or really, anything at all that was Maine related other than just a lobster. And before you suggest it, yes, I already have an LL Bean Tervis. Do you think I’m an amateur?

Managing to exit the shops before bankrupting myself further, I headed out to my favorite galleries in town. The original Northlight Gallery, and it’s sister gallery, True North. I fell in love with Northlight Gallery many years ago. They carry an artist named Jack Standish, whose work I love so much, I swear that if I win the lottery my first stop will be in Kennebunkport to purchase art for the homes I haven’t yet bought. His lines are full of inhuman control, and his scenes are flooded with light, they have the sense of being occupied, yet no figures are in the scene. As if someone has just vacated the room, or is just about to enter it. I’ve been coveting Jack Standish paintings for years now, and am always excited to see a new one. Northlight, may be the original, and it’s always fun talking to the owner, Harry, who is also a talented painter and actually hails from the Gainesville, FL, area, but the new gallery, True North, and owner Jill, is becoming my new favorite. With a new location right on Dock Square it is cozy and well-laid out, like stepping into someone’s home, someone with amazing taste in art. They also carry some Jack Standish, and I like Harry’s work, too, but I’m digging Jill’s new work. I was especially coveting the painting of the whale weathervane. I really have to remember to play the lottery…

After giving up my prime parking space in Dock Square it was time to head on to my favorite bookstore, but I needed a little sustenance first. Last year someone told me that Market Day made great gourmet sandwiches, and let me tell you, that is the truth. I could lie and say that I had difficulty deciding because of their great selection, but the truth is, I knew immediately upon looking at their hot panini offerings what I wanted. The had me at bacon. They set the hook with Brie. And I was happy to let tomato, sprouts, and citrus vinaigrette come along for the ride. Oh my warm, melty goodness. It may have been a little embarrassing how much I enjoyed that B.B.T.S. sandwich.Was it a little more expensive than my typical sandwich? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Now fed and happy it was time to head just up the street to one of my ultimate happy places, the cleverly named Kennebooks (in Kennebunk!) It is a really great independent bookstore. They have a fantastic selection, lots of tags giving suggestions/reviews, a wonderfully stocked and laid out kids’ section. I was disappointed that they no longer have a weekly kids’ story hour, but that didn’t stop us from spending over an hour inside, with everyone walking away happy with new books.

At this point the boys went off in one direction while the girls and I paid a visit to dear Mainer friends, The Nelsons. We first met Mandy and her girls, Maggie & Birdy, on the beach at Turbat’s Creek four years ago. They were just wrapping up a visit from Massachusetts to Kennebunkport, where Mandy grew up, and for two days the kids frolicked together while Mandy and I sat on the beach getting to know one another. Mandy is crazy. And I say that with love, the same way I self-proclaim the adjective. She is hysterically funny, and so much fun to be around. Her girls are sweet, and kind, and playful, also happening to fold in perfectly with mine age-wise. Mandy & I kept track of each other via Facebook, and when the second annual CMRT rolled around, we were hoping to have a reunion in KPT, but alas, the school schedule wouldn’t allow it. The third year, we got to see them for one blessed day as our visit coincided with a wedding they were attending in KPT. Here we are at the fourth annual CMRT, and what do you know? The Nelsons, including hysterically dry-witted patriarch Dan, are now residents of Kennebunk! So we rolled over to their house, which is still in the middle of a surprise renovation (the kind where you have to strip down to the bones because of unforeseen mold and other problems!) and made them take a break from working to play with us. Okay, so Dan kept working the entire time – did I mention they are doing the majority of the renovation themselves?! Wowza. But Mandy took some time off from scrubbing/painting/drywalling/plumbing/electrical repair to walk me through the house (which is going to be amazing when finished!) and then sit and chat. We had much to catch up on, battle scars of parenting to share, gossip to giggle over. Mandy is a force of beautiful, hysterical positivity, and being around her always buoys me up. And the girls disappeared to play in the play room, and to run around outside. Popping in often enough to be noticed, but not so often as to be disruptive. It was a lovely afternoon, and we stayed later than intended. But it was great to catch up with an old friend face-to-face. Hyperactive, loquacious, nerdy girls like Mandy being my people like they are.

Once home it was time to get the little ones tucked off to bed. I read them one of our new acquisitions from Kennebooks, The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. We LOVE this author. He wrote the Mr. Magee (and his little dog, Dee) books – Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee – and also our favorite If I Built A Car, among others. He lives in Maine and every year when we go to Kennebooks we get at least one of his books (though last year we got two – Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit, and King Hugo’s Huge Ego). His rhyming prose is clever, but it’s really his illustrations that are so entertaining. Anyway, I read The Circus Ship, and tucked everybody into bed before heading out for some more of my favorite things. This time it was beer, cheeseburger, and trivia.

As I ate my divine sandwich I was flipping through a local newspaper and happened to notice that there was team trivia at Federal Jack’s on Tuesday nights. There is no I in Team, unless you’re going alone and are a team of one, I suppose. And that’s what I was prepared to do. Go it alone. But delightful surprise, my new friend, Stephanie (remember my friend of a friend?) was available to go, too! Thus, team Difficult Situation was born. (Anyone catch the stilted DMB reference? Our situations are anything but typical.) We weren’t expecting to take the purse, but I think we had a respectable showing. And more importantly, we had fun. Not to mention a lovely locally brewed Taint Town Pale Ale. And I almost choked when Stephanie ordered a Captain and Diet. That was Barb’s drink. My former trivia partner who died tragically last November. I have never met another person who drank that. And I found myself getting a little misty when Stephanie said to the waitress, “Cap’n and Diet.” But it made me smile. It’s nice to remember friends gone too soon, and it seemed like a lovely sign to cherish a new friend. It’s always a wonderful thing to meet someone who understands you. We talked long into the night, long after trivia was over, laughing over our similarities and funny situations we’ve found ourselves in lately. It was, overall, a very good night, and no trivial thing at all.

 

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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim