Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, November 30, 2013

words from a cookie

Sometimes a fortune cookie contains wise words.

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.

Friday, November 29, 2013

in plain sight

Gracie is the somewhat wacky black cat who lives with my sister.

She delights in finding new places to hide in plain sight.

Gracie, hiding in plain sight

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

before the wind

Thursday is Thanksgiving, and that means that I'm traveling. It's a wacky busy travel weekend; I usually escape the craziness by flying out early Wednesday morning and flying home early Sunday morning. That almost backfired on me this week...

A wind and rain storm is heading up the coast, aiming for providing heavy winds in the Boston area early tomorrow morning. I've never outgrown motion sickness and somehow flying out at the same time as forecasted wind gusts in the 40+ mile per hour range wasn't something I was looking forward to. I checked for flights today but was not enticed by the price. A one-way fare was quite a bit more than what I paid for my round trip. I thought I was going to need to take a lot of anti-nausea meds and hope for the best.

I checked the JetBlue site every so often this morning, hoping... At a little after noon they posted a travel advisory for Boston for tomorrow. That meant I could switch to a flight today without paying any additional fees. Phew! I'm sitting at Logan Airport right now, waiting for my flight. I'm very happy!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Reflections create a peaceful scene.

reflections, a peaceful scene
in Portsmouth, NH

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Listen... can you hear the wind?

As predicted it was a cold windy day today. The temperature outside felt like winter; winter layers kept me warm when I headed out for a long walk this afternoon. I found that it was a bit of a challenge at times to remain upright, continuing to walk in the direction I chose as opposed to one chosen for me by the wind!


My visit to Crane Beach two weeks ago provided the perfect spot for a calming walk.

a long expanse of beach, a perfect setting for a calming walk

Saturday, November 23, 2013

quarry reflections

When I saw the weather forecast for the weekend I knew outdoor wanders would be more comfortable today than tomorrow. The temperatures were in the mid-40s with a bit of wind; tomorrow the high is forecast to be 28 degrees with a lot of wind. Hmm...

I headed to Rockport to walk at Halibut Point State Park. My last visit was in late August while the trees were still wearing green. Today the trees were bare.

sky painting, reflected

The wind was strong enough that I had to struggle to stand. I think it's a good thing that I visited today and not tomorrow!

More photos from today's visit can be found in the gallery Halibut Point - 2013 starting with this photo and ending here.

words in a window

These words in a window caught my eyes as I walked through Rockport, MA late this morning.

let them eat cupcakes
do you love me or do you not you told me once but I forgot

Thursday, November 21, 2013

still waters

It was a wonderful calm water day, gray skies reflecting, boats sitting still.

boats on calm waters

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ornamental cabbage

When I walked into Prescott Park in Portsmouth on Sunday my eyes were immediately drawn to some bright pink color in an almost empty garden. I wasn't too surprised to find it came from ornamental cabbage as opposed to flowers.

I love the color!

the colors of cabbage

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

product review :: Surface 2

After my "baby" computer exhibited some odd behavior during my trip to Alberta it felt like soon was the right time for a replacement. I started looking at small computers and tablets soon after I returned home. I was interested in a tablet but I also wanted a real keyboard; I didn't think that typing blog entries on the screen would be efficient or comfortable. Given that this would be the only computer I carry when I travel I wanted a screen size that is reasonable but not too large. Somewhere between 10 and 11 inches wide felt about right.

I looked at reviews, I talked with one of my colleagues who has a tendency to read and absorb information. I think I had a Surface in my mind; I had seen the original model and decided to wait until the release of Windows 8.1 and the Surface 2 in October. I thought I would walk into a store, play, and possibly compare the new Surface with some other devices. It turned out that wasn't a reasonable expectation since there wasn't a convenient retail outlet that stocked both the Surface 2 and other competitive devices.

The device still sounded right to me so I ordered the Surface and a Type Cover from Staples. Once it was in my hands it was time to play.

Microsoft Surface 2, tablet with kickstand

Microsoft Surface 2 with Type Cover 2

My new toy was exactly what I expected. I can use it as a tablet or I can add the keyboard and have a very reasonable device for writing my blog entries. The keyboard and the power cord both simply snap into place using a magnetic (shaped) connection, very sweet. It has a two-position kickstand for ease of reading and screen access whether the device is on a table or perched on your lap.

The dimensions (10.81 x 6.79 x 0.35 inches) met my small size requirements very nicely. It's lightweight, a pound and a half without the keyboard, and the keyboard is quite thin and light. The operating system is Windows RT 8.1 with Office 2013 RT pre-installed. RT is a lightweight operating system that can install applications only from the Windows store but that's not an issue for me. My computing needs when I'm traveling are easily met by web access and the tools in Office 2013 RT.

When I ordered the Surface I thought I'd try it without a mouse first; after all, it is a tablet with a touch screen! That only lasted a few days - even my small hands can't click on a spot as exactly as a mouse can. To match the relatively small size of the device I ordered an Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. It's a funny device - the off position is flat. To turn it on you curve it until it snaps into a shape to fit your hand. I like it!

Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition, closed Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition, ready for use

It's funny, I pretty much used my (previous) netbook only when I was traveling but I'm finding that I use my Surface much more often. It comes out of sleep instantly so it's natural to pick it up and use it. My computer lives in one spot but my Surface walks with me.

bare branches

Trees with bare branches almost seem to be a sculpture of shapes. I have a hard time each year accepting the falling leaves but bare branches wear a sort of beauty as well.

bare branches, a sculpture of trees

Monday, November 18, 2013

flying high

This great blue heron sculpture is a favorite, such a beautiful piece of art.

great blue heron, flying high

I believe this is the work of Walter Liff. There was a sign in front to the piece indicating that it has been registered with the National Museum of Art at the Smithsonian.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


The sky was gray and the tide was high. Very still water in tidal inlets along with wonderful light created a good day for chasing reflections.

mirrored, in Portsmouth, NH

More photos from today's wander can be seen in the gallery New Hampshire coast - 2013 starting with this photo and ending here.

black cat walking

I love this (flat) sculpture of a black cat positioned on the edge of a dock. Smooth water and light created a perfect reflection.

black cat walking, reflected

Saturday, November 16, 2013

floral color

I'm feeling the need for a bit of color today.

The leaves are gone and so are the flowers (as is expected for late autumn). Here's some color from a flower still in bloom just a month ago, a bit of lavender with a couple of tiny bright pink highlights.

flowers in lavender

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

across the water

As I was walking on Crane Beach last Saturday it really hit me how close two of my favorite Massachusetts water spots are to each other if you travel on the water. This photo was taken from Crane Beach looking across a very narrow stretch of water to the tip of Plum Island.

I just checked the distance by land and the distance by water. According to Google Maps it would take just under an hour to drive the 25 miles between these two places. By water, the Daft Logic Advanced Google Maps Distance Calculator indicates that the distance is 1.4 miles. Very interesting...

walking on Crane Beach, looking across the water at Plum Island

Monday, November 11, 2013

sea gull watching

A single sea gull standing at the edge of the ocean, gazing out to sea... I wonder what he sees.

sea gull watching

Oh, you're right - this photo is mainly water and sky. It's the sea gull standing alone that caught my eye, so small against the expanse of the ocean.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

to Crane Beach

It was chilly and windy today with temperatures hovering in the mid-40s. I felt the ocean calling - nothing unusual for me - and chose to visit Crane Beach. I can't remember the last time I visited there; it almost felt like a new wandering spot for me. Crane Beach is between two favorite places. From there I could look north and see Plum Island, the home of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, and I could look south and see Halibut Point. From the coast these three places appear to be close together but driving between them does not follow a very straight line!

I walked on the beach for a while, then switched to an inland walk on a path through sand dunes and vegetation. After I left Crane Beach I had to stop along the road to enjoy the sight of inland waters.

absorbing beach, ocean, grasses

magic light, inland waters

More photos can be seen in the gallery Crane Beach 2013.

Friday, November 08, 2013


Flowers were still in bloom in mid-October, captured in Northeast Harbor (Maine).

delicate flowers

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Ripples on quiet waters, just after crossing the bridge to Deer Isle at the tip of the Blue Hill Peninsula (Maine)

a lone sailboat

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

leaves against leaves

A bit of magic, autumn-colored leaves against a background of leaves...

magic, leaves against leaves

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


The leaves have dropped leaving bright red berries amid thorns. I wonder which birds or animals see these as a tasty treat.

red against yellow

Monday, November 04, 2013


Brrr! The days have turned cooler and with the end of daylight savings time it's full dark before I head out for my early evening walk. I'm in the process of retraining, of remembering which layers I need to allow me to walk into the chill air comfortably and to maintain the right level of warmth (not too hot!) as I quick-walk for sanity and exercise.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

coastal walk

This morning greeted me with chilly temperatures and a gray sky. It would have been easy to opt for a lazy at home kind of day but I felt the urge to wander someplace where I hadn't been in a while. Kittery Point sounded like a good destination; it seems like I was there a short time ago but when I looked at the date on the last set of photos from there I found my last visit was in June.

A light rain started as soon as I pulled out of my drive. I crossed my fingers and kept driving. By the time I reached the bridge to Maine the rain had stopped. My first short walk was along Chauncey Creek Road and Cutts Island Lane. I've always been fascinated by the water in that area, inlets from the ocean. (The photo below is from that short walk.)

Finished with that spot, I moved on to Fort Foster. The park was closed but there is plenty of room to park along the edges of the entry road and it's a matter of ducking under a gate to gain entry. I wasn't alone in the park - there were people walking, alone, with dogs, with bikes.

The ocean was quiet, the sky was decorated with clouds of white against a gray background, there were colors in leaves and berries. It was a good choice for a Sunday morning wander.

trees across the water

More photos from today's wander can be seen in the gallery South coastal Maine - 2013 starting with this photo and ending here.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Many trees are wearing bare branches after yesterday's strong winds. Those that still have leaves attached are leaning towards deep orange and rust colors with a little bit of yellow still in evidence.

As I walked I looked at the remaining leaves to see some wonderful variations. This beauty showed a bit of green, a bit of yellow, and veins in red.

fading leaf colors, veins in red

Friday, November 01, 2013

foxglove in bright pink

I was delighted to find foxglove still in bloom when I visited Thuya Garden (in Northeast Harbor) during my Acadia wander two weeks ago.

foxglove in bright pink