Posted in Seasons, Summer, Travel With Margy!, Vacation, Wow!

Sitting in the Lap…err, Foot…of Luxury

I had a relaxing foot massage and soak in Portland, at a place called Soakology. It bills itself as a foot sanctuary and tea house. It was decadent, relaxing and fun. You choose from a number of different treatments, which include various foot soaks with a variety of dried flowers, herbs and oils. You can also opt for a lower leg massage, which I did. In addition to this decadence, they also offer a cup of tea and a snack as part of the overall package.

Dried Flower Petals

I opted for an end-of-summer deal which included a lower leg massage, along with the regular soak and tea/snack. It was not cheap, but it was luxurious! I sat back in a large, extremely comfortable chair, soaked my feet in large, copper bowls and inhaled the scents of the place. After a while I sipped on my iced chai and nibbled on a lemon-honey macaroon. It was quiet, dark, relaxing and tasty. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I’m definitely adding a reflexology treatment to my regular massage here at home.

Posted in Nature, Seasons, Summer, Travel With Margy!, Vacation

An Afternoon at Leisure

Just got back after a charming few days in Portland, Maine. It’s been a long time since either one of us had gone on a vacation and we definitely need to do more of that. The hubby has one more full week left of free time before he heads back to his teaching job. We’ll try to sneak in some fun day-trips and other adventures before that happens.

Portland was wonderful, especially once we were able to get away from the tourist-y areas. We visited one of the islands dotting the bay. By that time I was hot, tired and thirsty. We stopped at a really charming (there’s that word again) inn and restaurant just up the road from the ferry landing. There was a big, wrap-around porch with seating for outdoor eating and drinking. We ordered a sampler of craft beers and sat out, looking over the water. The inn was gorgeously landscaped, with bursts of color everywhere. We were seated in two, very comfy rocking chairs (ah, the life!) and looked out over everything.

2015-08-06 15.51.42It’s just Maine all over!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Family, Just Bitching, Travel With Margy!

Bad Novel

No, not the one I’m writing. I’m in airline delay limbo and they’ve just handed out meal vouchers. Of course, I had dinner during the last one hour delay, so I’m full. At this point I might spring for a brewski, only because I can’t think of anything else to do.

First, they boarded the plane and we sat there for an entire hour while the airline tried to decide to repair or replace a part. Then they kicked us off and we got stuck in line waiting for an update. Then another delay, at which time I had dinner. Then they started boarding the plane and halfway through stopped again. Now they had to wait for an inspector to drive in from the next town over to inspect the part.

I’m still at the airport, four hours after my brother dropped me off. I’m texting them back and forth just to stay sane. I want to go home!

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Mars, Music, The Staff, Writing

Songs and Places

I’m going for a two-fer today: write about a place and a song. That’s going to be a challenge, not because I don’t know what to say, but I don’t really know where to start. That’s what happens with too many choices.

I’m not in the mood for straight fiction tonight, although I do want to talk about the story. I have an image in my head and it’s this one:

My fantasy with the two travelers, named Daniel and Mira, includes a new home, away from the devastation – kind of. The travelers and their eventual companions are traveling east, to a place called the Deep Lands that may or may not exist. There are stories about them and they’re pretty frightening. In one version, the Gods cursed the land for some infraction or another and killed off its ability to support any kind of plant life. In another version, the air itself has been removed. It’s a place no one in their right mind would want to go. Mira’s hard nosed and skeptical. No air, indeed. It’s just a story to scare kids into behaving, or so she explains to Daniel.

So, what is this a picture of? Mars, actually. Probably taken from one of the rovers happily wheeling around out there. I’m fascinated with the place, although not enough to actually want to go there. I tried to think of the most desolate, loneliest place anywhere. That’s what came to mind.

So, as of my last writing the group of travelers (yes, there are a bunch of them by now and they’ve already had some adventures) have arrived at the beginning of the Eastern lands. They’re currently camped in the remains of an ancient, ancient city and they’re getting a serious case of the creeps. Something feels wrong, although they haven’t found out what yet. They’ve just met (at spear-point) a group of area residents and are about to hear a story. That’s when I had to stop.

So, the music? Eerie, ominous. I grabbed a soundtrack and made a video out of it. Maybe I’ll show it to you later. For now, here’s the music:

Posted in Animals, Funny Stuff, Nature, Oddities, Travel With Margy!, Wow!

It’s A Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…A Frog!

Gotta run, man

Ground control to Major Frog
Ground control to Major Frog
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
(Ten) Ground control (Nine) to Major Frog (Eight)
(Seven, six) Commencing countdown (Five), polliwog (Four)
(Three, two) Check ignition (One) and may pond (Blastoff) scum be with you

This is ground control to Major Frog, you’ve really made the glade
And the gators want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the swamp land if you dare

This is Major Frog to ground control, I’m hopping through the door
And I’m croaking in a most peculiar way
And the flies look very different today
Here am I sitting on a lily pad far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my tadpole knows which way to go
Tell my mate I ate her insect lunch, she knows
Ground control to Major Frog, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you ribbit, Major Frog?
Can you ribbit, Major Frog?
Can you ribbit, Major Frog?
Can you…
Here am I sitting on a lily pad far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

::single tear::

No dude, really. It’s a frog. Well, was a frog.

More here at Io9:


Posted in Titan, Travel With Margy!, Wow!

Bouncing on Titan

Call me a news-isolated American, but I had no idea that the European Space Agency had landed a probe (Huygens) on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan. This happened in 2005. The probe separated from the Cassini spacecraft, then parachuted down to the surface. It took about 6 or 7 years to get there and is still the only earth artifact in the outer solar system. This brave little pioneer took a bunch of probe-y tests, listening to the winds in the atmosphere via an external microphone and examining every thing it could get its little probes on. They designed it so that it could land in liquid as well as on solid ground. Oh, yeah, the place has liquid – not just water, though. Its polar lakes are made up of liquid hydrocarbons. Titan has a methane atmosphere (remember to bring your space suit) and the surface is covered with some kind of thin methane haze. There is also water ice, which appears to make up the actual surface. Scientists have described that as sandy but with the sand made up of tiny water ice particles. The probe took a picture of what look like pebbles, but these also seem to be made of water despite their appearance. Actually, they look exactly like river pebbles. That’s got to make you wonder.

Water ice pebbles and surface “sand”

Amazing. This is an enhancement of the one and only photo Huyens sent back. But – but! – scientists could recreate the probe’s landing based on the data it was sending back. They know how it descended and how it landed. NASA made a neat video of this, which had me searching for the YouTube version for an hour.

This makes the science fiction geek in me jump up and howl at the nearest…whatever is in the sky. Hopefully not a satellite because that would be really embarassing.