Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Moose sightings, lighthouse visits & cake frosting debacles: Adventures in Maine...

Hello all, and I'm so happy to be back with you! Before I get into trip fodder, I have a few housekeeping announcements. First, today is Day 1 of the St. John Paul II novena! If you'd like to join in, now is the perfect time to get started. :)

Also, this is my week of being featured on Catholic Mom, and my new piece is a favorite of mine, that I updated and reworked. It's in my favored, humorous style of writing, and involves knitting (perfect seasonal topic!) so go check it out if you haven't already! And if you want to leave me a comment over at Catholic Mom, you know, I'd love that. ;-)


OK, so THE TRIP! I had a great time, it went real well. My flights were good, I did a little praying and no panicking, you would have been really proud of me. Of course, the complimentary drink coupons helped with that, I'll be the first to admit it, but you know, whatever works. ;-)

It was quite foggy and rainy when we landed in Portland, but we had a happy reunion with my sister Shauna'h, her husband, and my adorable twin nephews. Pizza and merrymaking abounded.

Saturday dawned an absolutely gorgeous fall day in New England:

The red and orange are my very favorite

Like us, their foliage is behind this year due to the weather, but they still have far more color than we do in WNY right now. I did LOTS of cuddling with both my human nephews, and my dog and cat nephews:

Cat on lap, dog at feet, a common occurrence this past weekend...
I get along well with Molson, the cat pictured here, and I like cats, I do. I have to say though that I do prefer dogs, and here is why:

So much love...
Dogs love you unconditionally. They are not cagey about it, or in any way withholding of their affections. Cats may be affectionate with you one moment, but the next stalk away as if you have offended them in some way, and likely, you have. Dogs? Here was the scene Saturday morning as I woke up:

*Tiffany puts away her bedding*

*nails click up the staircase*

*black and tan head peeks around the corner*

Tiffany: "Oh, hi Roscoe! How are you, muffin?"

Roscoe's thought bubble: "Oh! You're here! I was SO HOPING that you were awake! Can I, I mean, CAN I COME OVER?! If you want me to, I WILL TOTALLY COME OVER!!"

Tiffany: "Do you want to..."

*big black body gallops over*

So precious. I miss having a dog.

Later that day, we all made a pilgrimage to Portland Head Light, which I've been wanting to do for years, and finally got my opportunity:

I absolutely love lighthouses, and was so excited to see one up close. I went through the whole museum, and lurked long enough in the gift shop to pick up a lighthouse magnet (I've developed a tradition of bringing home a Maine-themed magnet each year) and a book on the history of all Maine lighthouses, complete with photographs and author signature. The librarian was in heaven.

We lunched at a brewery, and then retired home for some rest. After the twins went to bed, we leapt into party prep mode. And see? Anytime there is baking, and *I* am involved, the results turn out rather unseemly. Shauna'h and I took on the task of baking the cakes, and I took the liberty of live tweeting:

I'll give you a spoiler: the cake actually turned out well. But the frosting? Well, we ran low on powdered sugar, and it was already late, and we were drinking wine, and so...let's just say that the chocolate fudge frosting turned into ACTUAL FUDGE. Rather...gritty, actual fudge. It went from liquidy, non-frosting consistency, to a full stop SOLID. An interesting chemistry experiment, but frosting it was *not*. My brother-in-law had to make an emergency frosting run to the grocery store in the morning, but the cakes did turn out well:

Twin cakes with a camping theme...

...and they coordinated perfectly with the outdoorsy theme of the party. We were at a wildlife park:

Henry and I posing at the entrance

...and a great time was had by all, especially the kids.

Henry suddenly becomes alarmed by the duck flying overhead...
We took the twins around to see some of the animals, all native to Maine, including my first ever moose sighting!

He was very large
And wait for it, wait for it! This is the daddy moose, and his significant other was also present, although being shyer in the back. Thus, yes, THERE WAS A BABY MOOSE!! Or, at least a child-like moose, likely born last season. He or she was tucked away in a corner, so no good photo opportunity, but rest assured that much squealing occurred.

After that we ate and opened presents, and brought two very exhausted 3-year olds home for a nap. The rest of us drank beer and watched football. :) Later in the evening, we made it to Sunday Mass, and a beautiful day was complete.

I packed up yesterday, a forlorn Henry and Roscoe by my side. Roscoe saw our bags and looked like someone had just shot his best friend, poor pumpkin. We sadly said goodbye to everyone and headed out for our flight. Anne and Mike were there to greet us when we landed, and Anne was SO HAPPY to see me:

"Mommy, I carried a picture of you and Henry with me for when I missed you. And I missed you. A LOT."

No guilt imposed there, yes? ;-) And so, although sad, I'm happy to be home. Work is a little overwhelming right now, but I'm trying not to dwell on that too much. I'm just making to-do lists for each day and working my way through them. That's all one can really do, right?

And so, how was YOUR weekend, dear reader? How has your autumn been so far? Have you participated in any fun fall activities? Do write in to tell me all about it. :)


  1. Sounds like a fun trip! Moose! Baking crises!
    I live with a cat, but I do enjoy other people's dogs. Unless they get all weird when they sense "cat" around me.

    I am in a really big adventure--my sister gets married in just over a week! All sorts of new things to do and try, including false eyelashes and spray tanning (Lord help me).

    1. Kate! So nice to hear from you. :) False eyelashes & spray tans? You go girl! That sounds *super* fun, & I hope you'll report in avidly on Twitter. :0


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