My blog / email writing about life in Maine with family while running an independent music company has become a quarterly event it seems.
Simply because I write about our life and we spend so much time living there’s not much time left for writing.
But hopefully this makes each edition of my tales that much more interesting.
Summer in Maine is a time for being outside.
So I switch from the torture machine at the Y:
To the torture machine I use outside:
The biggest problem with the switch is a simple matter of gravity.
I use clip-in bike shoes and when you stop riding on the bike at the Y….
You just stop. The bike is on a stand. No problem.
My first ride this summer outside – I forgot about gravity.
At the end of the first big hill on my route I stopped for a break and a quick drink.
Forgot to unclip my shoes because I hadn’t thought about that all winter.
For those of you old enough to remember “Laugh-In” I looked exactly like the guy on the tricycle – who stopped and fell right over.
It was a slow-motion kind of moment – where you think “Oh oh….”.
You realize you’re going to fall over….you can’t do anything about it….even as it seems to take forever.
Landed on a rather sizeable rock.
Ouch that hurt.
Think I might have even cracked a rib or two.
But it only hurt to cough….for about three weeks.
I’ve had a great summer of riding….hopefully we’ll have a nice autumn and I can keep it up. Great changing leaves on my ride as fall comes.
I’ll take photos.
In the meantime – we made the most of our local lake swimming hole.
Usually a late afternoon stop:
Maine has unique events that we can’t seem to get enough of.
Different farms open up their premises for visits.
Our first visit this summer was to the Glendarragh Lavender Farm.
26 acres along the St. George River and it’s chock full of different varieties of lavender:
I suspect it has the nicest aroma of any farm anywhere.
Our friends Lorrie and Patrick Costigan started growing lavender in 2007. Their drying barn on the property dates back to 1790.
In 2009 – they made it easy for us to get all the different kind of lavender products we could want – they opened a lavender store on Main St. in Camden.
It’s so nice to have a unique shop in town that has no duplicate anywhere. The magic of a small town in Midcoast Maine is we’re too small for most retail chains so walking down main street is like taking a stroll in the 1950’s or 60’s. Independent, interesting stores.
Such a pleasure.
Check out Glendarragh at www.mainelavenderstore.com
Our next farm stop was for wild Maine blueberries.
Every year on Maine Farm Day we head to our favorite blueberry farm to pick some berries and buy some extras.
I never remember the name….but I always recognize the sign:
We didn’t pick this year because it was raining….but they had been busy:
This basket didn’t last long in our hands:
Summer is also baseball time.
We’re big Portland Sea Dogs fans (Red Sox Double AA Team).
A great stadium with a “green monster” wall the exact size of the one at Fenway and a perfect place to spend a few incredibly inexpensive hours:
This particularly night was one of their “fireworks” evenings and after a very tense, close game – alas they lost. Unfortunately the Sea Dogs after a great season last year are mirroring their big brother team in last place this season.
But a true baseball fan – especially the New England variety – isn’t so hooked on success – it’s the game we enjoy.
The Sea Dogs always do a great fireworks show:
Mid-summer – it’s time for the “Lobster Festival”!
Music, carnival rides, crafts and a kid who’s discovered the joys of the “bungee jump ride”.
This year he did a flip for the first time:
Mom and dad prefer the Ferris wheel:
Always love the view – take notice of the second big tent:
The object of the “Lobster Fest” is of course Maine lobsters.
They serve a lot of them over the five days of the festival.
All in that big tent.
We visited on Sunday – the last day of the festival.
Here’s the count of lobsters served up to the point we were there and the latest batch coming out of the biggest lobster cooker anywhere:
It’s also been a wonderful year for music.
Remember the old commercial for that weird “hair” company?
Where the guy in the commercial says “I’m not only the CEO – I’m also a customer”
Well that pretty much describes me.
I run an independent music company.
Because I love music.
Especially singer-songwriters – that’s what our company is all about.
It all starts with the songs.
Ever had a difficult time buying presents for your significant other?
From my own experience – it’s tough.
There’s nothing like working extra hard to get something I think my wife will love….and then get the….”Oh that’s nice…..interesting…..what made you think of that?”
It never even gets out of the box, hangs around the living room for about six months and then straight into a closet or drawer – never to be seen again.
I solved that problem
With tickets for her favorite artists in concert.
A triple win.
She loves the present and the artist – I love the artist – and get to go along to the show.
This summer she finally got the payoffs for her Valentine’s Day present and her birthday present.
Our 5th time seeing this guy together – nothing like a little “Steamroller Blues”:
Is there a better song than this?
We decided that this tour with a number of new songs from his new album was even better than the last time he came through Portland – how can a couple of Red Sox fans not love “Angels Of Fenway”:
A couple weeks later – it was the second payoff.
This time we had to travel to Boston and use some public transportation – the Green Line to Fenway Park:
Good news – bad news.
The good news – it was hard to get tickets – but we got in – and we were delighted – even though we were basically in the last row:
The bad news…..how is it that the largest guy in the stadium has the seat in front of me….and decides to stand up for the entire concert:
But no matter – it was a great night.
Can’t beat those songs – we love the “Piano Man”:
Speaking of songs.
That’s what Mishara Music specializes in.
I learned a long time ago that there are millions of great singers and musicians….but without great songs it’s basically a karaoke music world.
So we look for and sign great writers.
The challenge then for an indie music company – is how to connect the artists we have with the people that might love their music.
Love our radio play – but radio can’t play everything we have.
So we also love our steams on Spotify, Pandora etc and plays on Soundcloud.
But sometimes it’s best to go direct to our fans.
The best way to do that is give songs away – with no conditions.
Amazon has been a great partner in that.
In a number of different ways.
We’ve had six free song album samplers:
We’ve just recently starting doing individual song “sixpacks”:
Here’s our brand new “sixpack”:\
How do they do?
Through Amazon – Mishara Music has given away somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300,000 free songs.
Feedback has been wonderful from the people that have downloaded free songs.
Here’s a sampling of the response:
Because of the response – more and more people keep downloading.
In the last week (Amazon changes the ranking hourly) I noticed at one point we had twelve positions on the Amazon Top 100 Free Album Chart:
And a few days later noticed that the songs from the latest “sixpack” were all inside the Top 30:
Here’s some links.
This link takes you to the Mishara digital page on Amazon – there are over 70 free song downloads there:
Wanna hear the music first?
All of the albums have YouTube Listening links – you can listen all the way through – just search YouTube for the artist and album name.
For example – here’s the YouTube Listening Channel for our latest release by Cass Dillon “Oregon Road”
Click on “Playlists” and you get a link that will play all the way through:
All our music is also on Soundcloud.
Here’s the two latest “sixpacks” as playlists on Soundcloud – just click on the link and start listening:
So it’s been a great music summer but today as I write this – is the first day of school here in Maine.
So we’ve been working hard to squeeze every last second of fun out of summer.
It was a very good weather summer here in Maine but it did rain from time to time.
A rainy day on a weekend?
A great day to head to the movies to see “Minions”
Of course – a new Minion was in order after the movie.
Had to be seat-belted in of course – Ethan is very insistent in that:
We had to have a “bring your Minion to work day”.
First he went to work with Kim at her office:
Then he took over my computer:
But maybe best of all – don’t know how he hasn’t had one for his first 9 years….Ethan finally got his first Pez:
The highlight of the summer is always the one week a year we get invited to join Kim’s Dad and Stepmother in the house they have for a week at Long Beach Island in New Jersey.
As soon as we arrive it’s off to the beach for Kim for her first beach walk:
I usually work during the mornings and head to join the family at the beach in the afternoon.
Beach and water? Check (I actually prefer swimming to hanging on the sand)
Umbrella? Check (I’m not a sun person)
Book? (The # 1 most important item for me on vacation) Check.
Ok, got everything I need:
We actually get up early every year and head to the beach to try and catch some sunrise photos.
Wasn’t the only one up early this year:
This past week was the Union County Fair.
I think we saw just about every parent we know with school age kids on the midway this year.
Ethan discovered the “YoYo” ride this year….over and over and over again:
The highlight of the fair for me is my annual caramel apple:
Three last photos for this post.
Yesterday was one last early morning walk on a Maine beach for Kim before school starts and signifies the change of season – even though it’s still officially summer for a while longer and we’ve got some fun things planned.
Beach walks are essential for her well being, No surprise when she gets photos like this:
As the sun starts to travel southward in the sky and our days in Maine are rapidly getting shorter – it’s a good time to post the opposite photo from Long Beach Island….this time the sun setting over the mainland….we spotted the sunset coming fast and actually ran as fast as we could to catch the last rays:
Isn’t that the way this summer has been?
It’s been the fastest summer I remember and it seems like we need to race to slow down…to appreciate what we have.
Especially when we look at the “real” world – it seems that the clowns have escaped from the Funhouse and we’re left watching them being covered 24 hours a day – day in day out.
Seems like this is where we need to build walls:
Life in Maine w/ family & music – Photos of the year 2014 – the Marcrescue blog (Life in Maine with a nine year old)
(Note – If you’d like to be notified when these about monthly posts come out – you can sign up on WordPress on the right or sign up for my FB or Twitter feeds below. If you’d prefer to be left alone (I live in Maine where we all mostly prefer to be left alone – think it’s a New England thing) I understand.
As we all make “arghhh” type comments as we mistakenly write 2014 once more (and I will continue to do so until sometime mid April) here’s a collection of some of my favorite photos of the year.
Posted either because of the photo itself (most likely the artistic beautiful ones were taken by my wife Kim) or because of the memory of the moment.
I’ve also updated the latest events of the holiday season.
In no particular order.
Actually from the end of 2013 – we woke up to the aftermath of a rare ice storm on December 27th – where the particular mix of temperature and precipitation coated everything with ice.
Beautiful but dangerous:
Camden Harbor is always amazing.
Speaking of summer – I think my favorite photo of the year (taken by Kim of course) is Ethan in a swimming pool.
Swimming is a big part of summer in Maine.
Here he is checking one of the local swimming holes after a storm:
Now that we’re solidly into winter 2015 – it won’t be long until we see the ice fishing huts out on the same pond:
Once Spring arrives one of our favorite family days is Maine Maple Day – where all the sugar houses open their doors and you get to see the sugaring process which involves lots of evaporating and distilling of the maple sap. Each producer’s set up is different – some are using the same evaporators they’ve used for years and years and others are newer models of gorgeous stainless steel piping. The freshly made warm maple syrup is delicious no matter which way it’s produced. We always buy some from 3 or 4 different producers that day and it lasts us all year. (And it’s much less expensive than what you pay in stores).
The aroma in the shed is wonderful:
Spring also brings the annual iris blooming in our yard. My favorite flower – planted by someone long before we moved to Maine:
We try to do as many things as a family as we can and the opportunities in Maine are endless.
Summer camping by the ocean is a treat.
We go back to the same site at the Searsport Shores Campground every summer.
Kim loves to enjoy her morning camping coffee on the bench overlooking the ocean 20 yards from our campsite:
I look forward to the special breakfasts she makes.
Nothing like a beef brisket / sweet & white potato / onion hash made over the 1970’s era Coleman camping stove:
Is there anything more simple yet artistic than a shell on a beach – timeless (and taken by Kim of course):
Summer brings baseball and this year I managed to get one of the limited edition hats that the Red Sox official hat maker made after the 2013 marathon bombing.
It’s now my favorite hat and a reminder of how important and yet fragile life is and how important it is that we celebrate what we have every single day. If you’re a longtime reader of this blog you might remember that we were right across from the marathon finish line that day having just watched Kim’s cousin finish her first Boston Marathon and we saw both bombs go off. A day and tragic event we’ll never forget:
As most people are doing these days we are taking lots of selfies….as a family.
I had two favorites this year….this is the summer beach selfie:
Another favorite thing of mine this year was the Valentine’s Day card that Ethan made for me.
Better than anything for sale in a store:
After dinner nothing like a father son talk while walking in nearby downtown Rockland:
Ethan played his first game of adult Monopoly this year and it went perfectly as far as he was concerned….when dad went bust by landing on Ethan owned Boardwalk with four houses on it:
The other big game event that’s recorded in photo was our electronic candle lit game of Sorry – played during our 26 hour blackout that happened during the big snowstorm we had right after Halloween.
Dad got his revenge and won this time:
Thinking about old -fashioned things like board games takes me to Ethan’s new phone in his playroom.
During the blackout I took out an antique 1930’s era dial phone to see if the phone lines were working (all the new fangled electronic phones were useless of course) and Ethan loved it and insisted I hook it up in his playroom.
This is Ethan’s first phone – no mobile for him yet:
Summer in small town Maine brings out the community.
The library sponsors movie night in the amphitheater across from the harbor.
We all bring camp chairs and watch family films on an inflatable screen (don’t forget the bug spray):
Another summer vision – watching the ice spray waiting for your Sno-Kone:
Before you know it – it’s fall…..time for a cardboard sled on a grassy hill:
The end of summer also brings tomatoes from the garden in multi-colors:
Time to find a pumpkin:
Ethan planned the face for the carving this year and dad did a pretty good job of matching his design – Ethan was happy about that:
Every year the library has people bring their carved pumpkins to the town ampitheater for a get together – it’s always fun to see what everyone can do with their pumpkins:
My other favorite family selfie of the year – the “Halloween” edition:
As I mentioned – two days after Halloween we had a huge early snowstorm.
This is what we woke up to looking through the Halloween decorations on the windows.
I imagine that the tomato plants on the deck were not thrilled:
We all got to have fun outside.
Dad with a shovel:
Being so early in the year – Kim got to make the coolest snowman ever:
Ethan tested to see if the snow was any good for making snowballs to throw at dad:
My second favorite photo of the year – Kim’s “Moonrise”:
Time for holiday preparations.
In Maine – we head to the woods to find and cut our Christmas tree. Hard work when it’s 20 degrees but very rewarding:
Every year one of the simple pleasures Kim and I enjoy is finding a few new ornaments for the tree. This was this year’s haul – we loved the felt mistletoe, the Red Sox ornament was a birthday present from Kim to me and the star at the right was a school project that Ethan made:
We love the holiday parade in downtown Camden….we get creative with our floats…..where else do you see floats with a giant duck, a giant dog from the animal adoption center, a firetruck with a Christmas tree, the Rockport harbormaster’s boat, a giant lobster and of course our mainstay – a snowplow!
Afterwards we take to the streets and someone was out checking to see if the kids have been naughty or nice:
A few days later it’s time to head over to Rockport for their Christmas tree lighting and fireworks over the harbor.
Love the real lobster fishing buoys as decorations on the tree:
The wonderful thing about fireworks over the harbor is that you get to see the reflections in the ocean:
It’s very important every holiday season to make sure we’re thinking of other people – just not ourselves.
Ethan made donations to “Coats For Kids” and “Toys For Tots”:
With that done it’s time to make sure everything is set for Santa:
Ethan wanted to make it easier for Santa this year so he also prepared a checklist with an extra plate of cookies:
All the sudden it’s New Year’s Eve Day and time for us to set up the train set and get in some serious engineering:
Nothing like a another year in Maine.
A great place for a family.
It’s not a rich state – not a lot of money around – but we make up for it in creativity.
This gets my award for best Christmas decoration of the year.
I have no idea how it was done.
As far as I can tell it’s a real car.
It must be Santa’s for sure…..because based on the size of the trees and the rigging I can see…..there’s no way a regular person could set this up…..but then again it’s Maine…..and we make do with what we have:
Welcome to 2015 – my wish for everyone reading this and for all the people in the world is to have all the joy they hope for and to live in peace.
PS Mishara Music didn’t release many new albums in 2015 because all the recordings we were planning on – moved to 2015 – you can’t ask artists to write songs on a schedule. As we side more on the artistic side than the business side – that’s ok – we don’t force the issue at all….so we spent most of 2014 introducing our existing albums and artists to new fans.
But that means some wonderful new releases are coming – so while we prepare to delight and amaze in 2015 let me remind that we love to give away some of our favorite songs….because we can. We’re a small independent music company with no rules so if we want to gift great songs we just do it.
In no particular order here are 7 of our favorite free song pages – free downloads with no email or registration of any kind required – just click and enjoy.
From Ken Yates – “The One That Got Away”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/kenyates/
Takes you to this page:
From Barnaby Bright – “Made Up Of”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/barnabybright2/
Takes you to this page:
From Chris Ross – “Jack and Jill (Bottom Of My Grave)” – the hardest rocking song on the label
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/chrisross/
Takes you to this page:
From Connor Garvey – “Old House”
Takes you to this page:
From Clarensau – “Dance With Me”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/
Takes you to this page:
From Meggan Waltman – “Rain”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/
Takes you to this page:
And one more song from Chris Ross – a new live studio recording of “Mostly Sober”
Takes you to this page:
And there’s more where these came from.
The link – http://misharamusic.com/site/?page_id=18
Takes you to the Mishara Music website Free Song page:
Maine winter snow & ice photos / life musings and a farm report you must read! Life In Maine With An Eight Year Old – The Marcrescue blog
No deliveries on the weekends.