Wednesday, April 29, 2009

White Doves And Strange Unicorns



   I was reading an article this week in our local little country paper, about an older couple in their seventies who live fairly close by me in Naples, Maine. They have a business called On The Wings Of A Dove. The husband and wife team, bring white doves in beautiful white wooden cages, to weddings and release them. I have always wondered about this ritual that some couples like to include on their special day. As I guessed, it is quite expensive and the price varies. The couple in Naples charge $500.00 and I am not sure how many doves that includes. What I did not know, and have always wondered about, is that they are homing doves or pigeons if you will. The biggest stress on this older couple is never being able to go on any kind of vacation. All of these beautiful doves they bring to weddings, fly back to the couples home as soon as they are released! I can’t remember exactly, but it was in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 miles of release and then they find their way back home. I found that fascinating! I had no idea! I guess with some companies you can choose different types of baskets that the doves are put in and you also have a choice of releasing them yourself and the number you’d like to release. It’s different all over the country.


Here’s a price list and info from a place in Alabama……

1. Two doves released by hand or from a decorated basket.
2. At least twelve doves released from a decorated basket during the kiss.
3. The bride and groom each release a dove by hand followed by any number of doves from decorated baskets.

  • Two dove release - $150.00
  • Twelve dove release - $295.00
  • Twenty doves plus two released by hand – 350.00
  • Additional doves are $15.00 each.
  • No events outside a fifty mile radius.
  • No more than thirty doves will be released from over twenty five miles.
  • No more than four doves will be released from forty.

    I see that they have the 50 mile radius cutoff and now I understand that.  Am I the only one that did not know these doves go back home to their stations?? Interesting huh?

    The other odd thing I found out this week is from a wonderful magazine my in-laws gifted us a subscription to last Christmas called Smithsonian. Their was an article in there this month on Narwhals. Ever heard of them? Not only had I not ever heard of the name Narwhal, when I finally got a look at it I almost fell over! It is basically a unicorn whale!! A whale with a long tusk coming out of it’s head that looks like a unicorn!!image No….that’s not a rock in a lake with a stick coming out of it….that’s a Norwhal!! Watch this youtube video on these very strange creatures! Very weird.

    The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic. One of two species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the Beluga whale, the narwhal males are distinguished by a characteristic long, straight, helical tusk extending from their upper left jaw. Found primarily in Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic waters rarely south of 65°N latitude, the narwhal is a uniquely specialized Arctic predator. In the winter, it feeds on benthic prey, mostly flatfish, at depths of up to 1500 m under dense pack ice.[3] Harvested for thousands of years by Inuit people in Northern Canada and Greenland for meat and ivory, a regulated subsistence hunt continues to this day. While populations appear stable, the narwhal has been deemed particularly vulnerable to climate change due to a narrow geographical range and specialized diet.

    So…it would appear that these tusks are a tooth of some sort. Another odd thing is that they can dive as deep as a mile.

    image Those tusks can grow as long as 7 to 10 feet! It is an incisor tooth that projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left handled helix….which means it is a spiral. The tooth is completely spiraled. Here is a close up of it….. image And here is a picture from the front.image Is that weird or what? It’s hard to know if it is a whale or a rock! Well I thought you all may be interested in seeing this unusual Arctic whale and the story of the white homing doves. It was a fun read for me on both of these wonderful creatures.

       In closing, I would like to remind any of you who have not been here for a while, that there may be an award for you on my last post so check it out. It has been extremely warm here in Maine….in the 90’s the past few days and it is only April!! I am not ready for that yet! Today, thank God is much cooler….60’s and for that I am grateful. I HATE the hot weather, give me 70’s any day and I’ll keep it. I guess that’s why my favorite season in New England is the fall. Also I wanted to say sorry to you New England Bloggers about not jumping in on the giveaway!! I promise I will get to the next one. I am a little slow on the uptake with blogging still!! Now I am off to get something done around this house!! Have a wonderful week everyone! Hope it’s not too hot for you.    debbie01

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    I’m A Big Kid Now….Hooray!!

    image I am so flattered that I am beside myself….oh wait…that’s my husband that’s beside me not me. I have been given the Bella blog award. I am so honored that little old BlueBerryPlains would even be considered for an award of ANY kind! There are so many talented and loving bloggers out there! The best part is that it came from one of my ABSOLUTE favorite bloggers SmartMouthBroad!! She is a very funny and talented blogger and her writing just gives me a daily lift. I love her blog. How can ANYONE not want to check her out with a name like Smart Mouth Broad! In fact, that is what drew me to her in the first place. I just got done leaving her a comment thanking her. I was so excited, I left out words and misspelled some and I am sure it is not even legible! Sorry about that Smart Mouth! My fingers just got away from me! My mind was racing so fast about being given an award that I couldn’t think straight. Check her out….I know you will love her as much as I do and if you don’t….well….you’re just crazy!:) Ok….so my ego is getting a little big here without just cause and it may need a little piercing by the end of the day but I am going to bask in this thing for a little while longer.:) I’d like to thank the academy…..and er….oh sorry. Now, I am just as proud as a peacock that I was able (so far) to post this blog award thingy up there above and link SMB’s site to it as I was told to do, all without the help of my Computer Mechanic husband’s help!! Whoooooooooooohoooooo…….I did it all by myself! Now I am supposed to drop in 15 people that I think deserve this Bella award? I am not sure if I know 15 people yet?

    Smart Mouth says the rules for the Bella award are as follows:

    1. Link the blog that gave you the award. That’s easy…..


    2. Pass on the award to 15 bloggers that are new to you. That’s fairly easy since everyone is new to me! I am new but it will be a challenge to come up with 15. I’ll give her a good try….

    Anna Maria Horner A real nice blog.

    C & G Design Her name is Dawn and what a crafter!

    Far Side Of Fifty Great girl with wonderful stories.

    GeeGee's Graffiti My wonderfully talented MIL.

    Good Old Beans My creative FIL.

    Island Paradise My artistic cousin who lives on a island in Maine.

    Yarnstorm Jane Brocket is amazing. I found her a long time ago before blogging and just recently re-found her.

    Just One Space This is my husbands blog. He doesn’t blog much but he created a handsome sight I think…check it out. Maybe this award will make him blog more? Yah…..maybe not!

    My Little Cottage In The Making Really nice blog…the cupcake girl!

    My Sweet Serenity This woman creates some beautiful things.

    Note Songs The Sweetest lady in blog land my friends!

    Pegs Life In The Button Jar Another cool one.

    Primrose Design A teaching blog….I use it for reference sometimes.

    Rural Maine Life Kathleen is a great girl! Check her out!

    Thoughts From An Evil Overlord Another great girl.

    By golly I think I actually came up with 15! I left out some of my favorites but one of them tagged me with the award SMB….and the other tagged her….GS and the others i will save for another time. I really did not know I was following that many! No wonder it takes me so long to get back to these gals.

    Ok….so now you have the opportunity to give the coveted Bella award to 15 of your new friends just the way I did! Have fun and i hope you do it. By the way, it took me this long to do all this because I was at a workshop a good part of the day yesterday and we had no internet this morning! Good excuse huh? Thanks again Smart Mouth. It took some work and now let’s see if my links actually work?clown1

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Keeping up Appearances…….


       Last week my dear daughter Carissa was telling me a story that reminded me of myself at her age. The names and places are different but the feelings were the same. I was a hippie in the early seventies following in the footsteps of one of the coolest hippies I knew at the time…my older brother. I would do anything for that guy….well pretty much anything. I was always trying to impress him. He had the coolest friends, cars, connections and to top it all off he was in a rock band and they practiced in the basement of my parents house. I listened upstairs to them practice songs like Summertime. There was a female singer by the name of Dee Dyer. The bluesy Janis Joplin version of that song just rolled off her lips and it was magic. I daydreamed about the day I would be able to sing like that. My brother eventually had a “hippie pad” down there complete with a king size waterbed, a funky plastic smiling sun on the wall, Mateus wine bottles filled with half burned candles that had drippings all over the bottles, and cool looking bedding he got from the local head shop in Portland. It was the place to be when you wanted to escape the parents.

       That was where my love for a different kind of music began. Before then, it was mostly my parents 1940’s lyrics that drew me in. Now, I had many eight tracks and albums of music to listen to I didn’t know where to begin. He had Cat Stevens, America, Harry Chapin, Eric Clapton, Credence, Jethro Tull and more. I was mesmerized by it all. Every once in a while my parents (off on a gig of their own) would leave my brother there to babysit my little brother and I. There was ALWAYS a party if they went somewhere overnight. One night I was in bed and the party was going strong and I was almost asleep. Someone rolled into bed beside me. In shock I just laid still. After a few moments I heard…. “ Oh Shit!! I just climbed in bed with Arthurs little sister!! Oh shit!” He got up fast and left! That was kind of spooky for me at that age but I got over it……I told my parents!!! Oh my brother hated me for that.  I was called a tattle tale for a long time and he didn’t trust me after that. I still snuck downstairs though, when he wasn’t around.

       The music drew me in. I went to as many concerts as I could get to as a teen, from Portland to Boston. I saw Alice Cooper live and during the Dead Babies song, he tore the fake bloody head off the doll and it came flying at me! Okay I wasn’t ready for that one. I saw Bob Seger in concert, James Taylor and so many cool bands I can’t remember. My daughter is a lot like me. She does the same things……loves music…..loves concerts…..plays guitar….worships song writers. So….when she started telling me she went to see Ray Lamontagne in Portland recently, and asked me if I knew him, I did what any 50 something former cool mom would do….I lied. Oh yes of course I know who he is! I came right home and googled him. And guess what?….I love the guy. Here’s a clip of a song he does called Trouble that I am already addicted to. . I do that, by the way, if I really love a song I play it to death, incessantly until I can’t stand it. Just one of my many obsessions. So, after the Lamontagne concert, Carissa had heard rumor that Ray might make an appearance at one of the local clubs in town. She went there, had a few drinks….well….a lot apparently, and waited. She was with a bunch of friends and she was being her sassy self and carrying on about how Ray would NEVER show up there and it was all a big scam when someone motioned to her that he was standing right behind her. By the time she was done talking to him, she had made fun of the way he danced on stage, the type of music he said he liked (cowboy) and a few other annoying inferences. Basically, she ripped him a new one. Her friends brought the whole scene to her attention and they all had a good laugh about it. She thought Ray got plenty of back rubbing in this business and maybe it was a breath of fresh for him to not get the usual drooling from a fan. Yah…..maybe…..maybe NOT. God did that remind me of myself at her age! I went to many a bar in Portland waiting for many a rock star to show and some did. It did take me back and I am happy for my little hippie daughter that she is having fun….like her mom did. Here’s a picture of her and my 50 something hippie brother when he was home from Nashville last summer. He played on the wharf of a bar called The Port Hole and his two biggest fans were there….her and I. That was Port Hole 2008……I was just told there will be a Port Hole 2009 in July! I am already excited!


       I think I’ll get out my incense and my tie dye and put on an old Bob Dylan album…..oh that’s right….it’s called vinyl now. Who can keep up?

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    I Am Nine Today…Is That 63 In Human Years?


    We have a little prompt on our computer with reminders of birthdays and events in the form of a pop up. That prompt started coming up late last night and it said…..8 hours until Obie’s 9th birthday….6 hours until Obie’s 9th birthday and so on. Today is here and it is our little Jack Russell, Obie’s 9th birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OBIE!!!!! Obie has many names as I have blogged about in the past. My husband calls him Oricle Ass and Hydrochloric Acid (don’t ask!) and his other nicknames are Obie Wan Kenobi and Obie Dyer. The truth is, he got his name from my father Paul. My father had many nicknames growing up, but the one that stuck was Obie. My dad was in a play as a kid and the part he played was of an Obie Dyer. I don’t know the name of the play but Obie ended up with my dad’s nickname. My dad had passed and I think he would have loved that.obiebed2 Obie came from a litter that my cousin had. She owned two Jacks. Obie’s mom, Jill Russell (get it?) and his father, Guinness. Jill and Guinness had quite a litter of beautiful pups.Puppy 1 Obie was the only black and tan and white pup. There was another pup in that litter that had the cutest little brown dot on top of his head….see him on the left in the photo? That pup ended up with my brother and his family and his name is Ziggy. Ziggy and Obie got a chance to visit this summer when my brother came home from Nashville. My brother had purchased a playmate for Ziggy and her name is Zoe. It was quite a reunion for Zig and Obie and a first time meeting for Obie and Zoe. They had fun that day!vacation 136 See Ziggy big now and still sporting the dotted head on the left? There’s our beautiful Zoe with the pink bandana and Obie looking on.russells5 There was a lot of sniffing and territorial marking going on by the boys. They had a blast and got along great.vacation 126 Obie has been a wonderful dog and has the funniest little quirky things that he does that make him unique. We love him to death and hope he is around with us for a long time. He has made many friends over the years.MURPHY-OBIE Here he is with his friend Murphy. And his best friend Baby sitting by the heater.obiebaby Here are the brothers Ziggy and Obie at the big Music Fest Celebration of 2001 playing in the fest_129 That day was so much fun for them!! They were free to run and do what they pleased!music fest_130 Yup….it’s been a pretty good life and he’s got a great one ahead of him…..after all…..he’s a Russell and that energy never dies!! Obie got a birthday card from his brother Ziggy in Nashville, this morning, with many photos of the two of them raising hell together. So Happy Birthday Obie and Ziggy and all you other Russell brother and sisters wherever you are! We are celebrating your birthdays today! Happy 9th!!Project16 Notice how I blend in with that old carpet? That’s definitely my color!Project17 Is the camera focused? Can you see me?Project18 How’s this? Is that thing working?obie2 There we go……now you can see me can’t you? Are my nostril hairs showing? Are we done yet? HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BOY AND I PROMISE TO GET YOU A SPECIAL TREAT LATER ON TODAY FOR YOUR BIG DAY!!puppy2 Love, Mom

    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    I’m In The Pink…& White, & Blue & Green & Yellow

       Hello all you bloggers out there. I have not been writing for a little while once again. I so enjoy reading all of yours though and sometimes worry about those that are not blogging. I am such a worry wart!!…is that a word? Anyway…it’s been a good week and my hubby and I are on a semi-vacation this coming week. Does that mean that we don’t have to work?…NOT…just not so much. It’s a gorgeous day here in Maine. The temperature is around 60 and the sky is the prettiest color of blue you could ever imagine. But yet all of us folks are inside today! I have a homemade spaghetti sauce on a long simmer. Hubby is doing computer work in his office. Baby (our black cat) is napping on our bed.Baby That’s her peeking out on the deck when she was a little (baby). Obie is hiding under hubbies desk in his office because one of our neighbors is doing some kind of target shooting! Obie HATES guns!! It scares him to death. Poor little guy shakes all over. If this was not happening, he would be napping too.obiebed2 And I am crocheting whenever I get a minute. I got the idea from another blogger. Here site is: …..if you scroll down to her April 6 post you will see what she calls her Doggy Bag. I followed her instructions the best I could and they are wonderful instructions! It’s me that needs training! I would have loved to have used the type of yarn she used….the colors are magnificent and as you will see just gorgeous….but I ended up using what I have. What I have are some soft pastel colors more for a baby blanket but this is my trial run to see if I can follow her pattern. I am new at this so it makes sense to me. Her bag is so beautiful and very creative. Mine is in the beginning stages….just starting to crochet up the sides so it barely looks like a bag. Well here….let me show you…pink1 I am using blue, yellow, pale green, white……pink2 and a soft pink. That is the only yarn I had that was the same and I wanted it to be consistent because I am NEVER….consistent! Working on that.:)pink3 The bag is small still, but taking shape.pink4 It’s kind of cute even though I like her colors better.pink5 That’s the outside bottom but will be the inside bottom eventually….at least I think that is what she meant to do? pink6 Not perfect but kind of fun. Well….that’s what I have been up to. Oops….I hear hubby coming and I’ll bet the smell of that sauce is bringing him down out of his cave. It’s pretty late in the afternoon and I am getting hungry for some pasta and sauce and salad. Hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. I do plan on adding more of the music fest pictures when I get them sorted out. Some folks will not want their pictures on the blogs so I have to be careful. Have a great day now. Thank you all for stopping by. I love reading your comments and checking out your interesting blogs. You are all so creative…..I am taken back by it all.                                                                                                                                020    Gbutterfly

       But I feel like I am always learning from you and feel connected to all of you amazing people somehow. God bless you all. +

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    The Music Fest….

       I lost my dad back in 1993 and my mom in 1998. I miss them every day but by 2001, I was really missing them and their wonderful music. I was talking it over one day with my mother in law Alice Mary. Between the two of us, we came up with a plan. We decided to have a big party in memory of my folks and their music. I can’t exactly remember when that was but the results I do remember. It would be in August of 2001 and it would be held at Alice’s farm because she had a huge back yard. We sent out invitations to everyone we could think of to include both sides of my family and many of hers. I don’t remember the exact number of people that came but it was very well attended. I had some of my dads old sheet music that he so lovingly collected over the years. Some were stained and torn and should have been thrown out, but instead, I salvaged pieces of them. These pieces ended up going into a poster made by Alice for the party. The party was called The Music Fest.  Alice took old photos of my folks, some of my fathers musician friends, information I had given her about their lives and more, and made 2 wonderful posters that hung outside at the event. Here are some pictures of them….DSC04095 Here’s the poster in full. Here are some close ups..DSC04096 That’s me playing guitar with my folks on the couch to the right. My brother is top left at another celebration some years earlier. These are all photos from the past so we could feel as if they were there with us.DSC04097 Alice added many pictures of old instruments and typed in sayings she thought someone in the photo may have been saying…really cute.DSC04098 This is a family friend named Edgar who played an unbelievable piano. He played like Scott Joplin…..many rag time tunes. The blue piano is him playing at my wedding reception. My dad had passed but my mom was there.DSC04099 This man is Edgar’s brother Kenny and in this photo he was tap dancing to an old tune. That man was one of the funniest men I have ever met. He also played a mean mandolin. I have great memories of him from my childhood and of Edgar too. This poster is a treasure.DSC04100 This is my fathers band he played with at his 60 plus club once a month in Portland. Alice also dropped in info regarding my dad’s being in the Army.DSC04101 More….with the same idea in mind about my mom being a nurse.DSC04102 My mom performing one New Year’s Eve at a local club.DSC04103 They truly loved one another.DSC04104 The dedication section of the poster.DSC04105 An old sheet music cutout about unlocking a door she put in. It was a wonderful, wonderful celebration. There were many old musicians that were there that played in remembrance of Paul and Lydia that day. Two trumpet players, two drummers, several guitar players, banjo, tambourine, an electric piano, a saxophone and more entertained us all. I played a little guitar and sang one of my favorite Lydia tunes…..yup….you guessed it….Bill Bailey!! In my next post, I will show you some of the actual photographs of the gathering. It was awesome and I hope, someday to have a Music Fest II. :)


    Monday, April 13, 2009

    An Easter Birthday Celebration…..

                            image             DSC04133

       Yesterday we celebrated Easter and Alice Mary and Bob’s birthday with family and friends. It was held at Bob’s brother Joe’s house and we had a barbecue instead of the usual Easter dinner. The food was wonderful. Everyone brought a dish and chipped in to help prep, cook, clean, pick up and join in the festivities. We had bratwurst dogs of many flavors and cheeseburgers, mostly cooked by my son Kyle. He also sautéed some green peppers, onions, and mushrooms to go on those delicious burgers……supplied by Joe,DSC04125  while his sister Carissa looked on. We had some great old friends that were visiting that day and what a welcoming sight they were! It was a breezy and somewhat chilly day so we stayed inside a lot, close to Joe’s warm and inviting woodstove. DSC04142 Nestled in and around it was a comfy cozy place to be. We had homemade pasta salad, potato salad, and a special coleslaw Woody made with Happy Easter nicely spelled out in Yellow bell peppers…..great idea Woody! Sorry I did not get a photo of it though!DSC04129 For dessert we had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting….forgot the ice cream!! My bad! It was a good day and we even managed to play a little bit of guitar. Yup….it was a lot of fun….even the dogs got to enjoy some special treats. I saw the bag of beggin strips come out at some point!DSC04140 All of these parties used to almost always be at my house. I guess I have passed the torch to my brother in law Joe the bachelor! His house is bigger….he really enjoys it and he’s a great host! A truly blessed day and boy did I hit the couch when I got home because I ate way too much!!!! Back on the diet today! What good cooks we have in the family! Hope you all had a wonderful Easter too. I will get caught up saying hello to ya’ll soon enough.


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