Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sitting on the beautiful covered porch at my Portland abode, working on details for a music video. So psyched about this and doing it in Maine - fun picture of Aaron Benward as inspiration for getting it going!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Soggy, soggy.....

Ava wanted up early even though the rain from Hurricane Danny had begun. She has no depth perception or something like that. She walks right through puddles, no hesitation, no breaking stride and seems to always go for the deepest part. She was up to her armpits in one today. I just try to get her to walk around but end of laughing and she looks up at me like "what are you laughing at Mom? we've got a walk to go on" Have I said lately how much I love my puppy?

Had two great showings at 161 Pine, the building that I have an apartment in right now. Love this place. Headed over to Danforth and then back here to work on projects.

Getting very excited about music video - can't say much yet except that we will hopefully film in Maine and it will be an Aaron Benward written and performed fantastic, fun, chart topping song! Researching new film studio here in Portland...

At same time working on our new Historic Homes of Maine division for Swan - going to be incredible.

Really want to go out tonight, love being in Portland but had lunch with Dennis and Keith at Dogfish, so had a good meal, and now just want to stay in and work on stuff. This weirdo weather has worn me out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back in Portland

Nice.... Erica and I are both in Portland to show property tomorrow. Erica is showing clients one of my Portland listings and then Keith follows up with another client for the same listing.

We took advantage of a gorgeous night and walked all around the West End with Ava, marveling at the architecture and getting excited about our new Historic Homes of Maine, niche marketing division of The Swan Agency Sotheby's International Realty. The number of properties on Greater Portland Landmarks is astonishing.

We walked by Pomegranate and couldn't believe that it is on the register with its own name that I had never heard. First thing! Learn the history of your own properties before everyone else's.

Later, after we had worn Ava out and Leslie's trainer had worn her out.... the three of us went to Front Room for a really exceptional dinner. Ava was quite tired so was very good waiting for us in the car. Only about 64 degrees out so she was most comfortable.

I love these days, late August and September. The best of the year! Need to eat out a lot as summer is too hot for Ava in the car and winter too cold but NOW, just right.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Poor Av

Very hot and muggy in Portland today. Ava was desperate to get under bushes and snuggle down, very hard to get her to come out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill

What a crazy, chaotic day. Heard tons of sirens, ambulances etc. earlier going down Schooner Head Road. Tweeted that something is up. Then entrance to Acadia got closed because of dangerous waves. Mom and Ev were here at our house (ava's and mine) and Dad showed up because he couldn't get to Thunder Hole, He and Mom decided to go across the road from our house and called Ev and I to come down because it was so crazy. Hilda Roderick and Kathleen Kotas were there too. Here is a video I shot, ignore the audio, I hate my voice on tape. :-) Turns out people were swept into ocean near TH. Last I saw, several rescued, one little girl still missing. Very sad. Between the surf sounding like a freight train, the sirens and the life flight helicopter, it was very noisy for a while. (Can't get the video to upload right now so here are photos)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

OK - back to real world

Our annual fundraiser for a charity is always a ton of work but so much fun when it gets pulled off.

After a fantastic concert on Thursday night, Aaron and Scott signed autographs and took pics in the lobby at Criterion which is always fun. They are great sports about it. Then we chilled out for a little while in my office then joined some friends at Rupununi's for a midnight dinner. That's become a ritual. Home at 1:00 AM, Erica stayed here and picked Scott up the next morning at 8AM to swim laps at the Bar Harbor Club.

Had another ritual, lunch the next day at Fish House, lobster for most of the guys. (We texted BC's former road manager at lunch saying where are you? wish you were here. He called immediately and was on a bus in Oklahoma with Emerson Drive and said he was just thinking that he had to call me because ED is at Winsor Fair on September 5 and he wanted me to come up. So ironic, as that is how I got to know the BC guys so well, Joey inviting me to a fair they were doing, small world)

We left for Portland around 3. Ava stayed with Mom, Evelyn and Dad. First time we were ever apart over night and it was not easy. But, there is no way she could have come. She would have hated it and I think she was good here. a little high maintenace I'm sure.... Once again, God Bless Mom.

After several stops, Aaron, Scott and I got to Portland around 7:30, shortly after Erica, Rob and Oscar got there. Leslie, Beth, Tom M and Maddie and Chris Bohler all came over and we had a really nice time. Then Aaron, Oscar, Rob, Erica, Chris and I went to Vignola's for the rest of the night. Laughed harder than I have laughed forever in the last few days. That is the most fun.

Erica had to leave early this morning but I had breakfast with the guys, Leslie made them Lobster Benedict, and we just hung out before they had to hit the road at 11:30. I had this very sad feeling come over me for a minute. Aaron and I feed off each other's energy so much and we wish we didn't live so far apart. It was SOOO cool when they sang Maineville songs at the concert. When things hit, it will be amazing. He is so talented.

I headed home to see Ava asap when they left and they headed to New Hampshire to do afternoon and evening sets at a state fair. (Aaron just called though a few minutes ago from there, seems it has been raining all day, they only got a quick set in and looks like they'll be rained out for the rest)

So I had my little break from work but back at it now. Headed to Nashville soon to work on projects, for sure.

Last BC Shots

Erica with the guys.
Serious competition in the Billiard Room.

Rob and Oscar drinking an incredible bottle of 1994 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cab that we had to let breathe for quite a while.

Aaron and my friend Chris Bohler who just finished the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid.

Rob making a great shot.

More BC (can only put 5 pics in each post :-)

After concert dinner at Rup's. Paul Durost and Jeff Young, my big strong security team.
Trying to figure out if Oscar is being serious. One of the funniest guys I know, but I never know when he is joking.

Aaron writing the set list in the "green room", my office, while the warm up was playing at Criterion. Scott pre show snacking.

No idea what AB was telling me but I don't think I liked the sound of it. Nice face Kim.

Aaron and I went out the Ocean Drive to get a feel for a location for a music video for one of our Maineville songs that we LOVE that Aaron wrote called Lifeboat. Definite hit!

Fun shots from Blue County Weekend

Aaron, Scott, Oscar and Rob at leaving for New Hampshire.
Aaron "filming" Minnesota Reeves

Aaron, Rob and Scott listening to Leslie (maybe telling the about the lobster benedict coming for breakfast the next day?)

Rob, Scott, Aaron and Oscar down on the pier in Bar Harbor for our annual outside lunch with Erica and me.

Aaron and Scott while we were walking down to meet everyone for lunch and the fog was almost eerie, but beautiful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mars in Gemini

Today was supposed to be a particularly tough and challenging day according to Astrology Zone and I kept waiting for something to happen, and it did.

I left Bar Harbor in plenty of time to head to Bangor to pick up my friend Aaron Benward who was flying in a day early so that we could hang out before his Blue County concert at Criterion tomorrow night. Of course, since she will be spending a lot of time alone in the next few days, I brought Ava.

It was HORRIBLY hot out. Ava is so sweet and excited to go with Mom. Around Hulls Cove I smelled chicken so strongly. I soon discovered, not in a good way, that poor Av had gotten sick, not throwing up........, in the far back of the Range Rover and brought some up to me. Oh my GOD! And speaking of God... God bless John Bennett. I couldn't get him right away so called Mom (God Bless Mom too) and said, "Find John Bennett and send him here!!!" He came to Hulls Cove as fast as he could and got Ava. I had time to clean Ava, clean the car (God Bless Purell) and John took her home. I continued on to Bangor and even though Aaron was 20 minutes early, and I was 20 minutes late - we met right at baggage claim, he did have to yell to me but there he was. So handsome and so sweet and I am so glad he is here. Poor Ava was the bad part of the day, the rest was perfect.

Aaron and I had a fantastic dinner at Havana then picked up a copy of the Islander to see the article that they interviewed him for, very nice. Then we called it a night, he has been on Red Eyes almost constantly for the last few weeks, traveling constantly. I can't do three crazy nights in a row and the next two will be nuts. The most important thing in AB's life is his family and he could get some rest and I'm sure talk to Kenda and the kids. I told him tonight that he needs to write a song about fathers and sons, it could be amazing.

We are psyched for tomorrow night and then to go to Portland on Friday. Tired already but it will be over before we know it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I want to re invent myself but I don't know.... into what?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking to kick some squirrel @&#

Ava, looking for Dude.

Ava and the Karu boys

This is a shot of Ava, that Dana took, playing with the Karu boys - Duncan and Murphy.

I was so enchanted with Candace's fenced in play space that I hardly got to see the rest of one of the most beautiful homes on the Coast of Maine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Next Week

Just working on next week schedule and wondering how I am going to make it through...

Why? oh Why? did I schedule being host to a George Ballantyne/Sotheby's talk in Northeast Harbor on Tuesday night and host to a wild and crazy Blue County concert at Criterion in Bar Harbor on Thursday night..? Just imagine the difference in wardrobe alone. :-)

OH and then, after the Thursday night performance, heading down to Portland with the guys for a night in the big city before they head to a New Hampshire state fair as headliners on Saturday. I need help...

This is after I run to Portland on Monday to set up new furnace installation and some press meetings at inns.

And after Aaron flies in from Nashville a day ahead of the band on Wednesday for some work on Maineville and some other possible business pursuits. and at least a great dinner at Havana.

All in the pursuit of keeping my mind occupied............ ;-)


Headed back to BH today, a few meetings first and then on the road. The Range Rover dealership has a new one in that they are enticing me to come see but I will resist,,, until Monday maybe :-)

It has been a whirlwind but got a lot done, think I own another inn though don't know if the deed is back. Dinner party last night at Danforth was fun for Brian and Beth's Aug 16th birthdays.

Ava and I no longer match in the hair department, will post pic later. Pretty happy with it. Ava had her first babysitter experience from 4-7:30 yesterday. It was pretty cool :-) They guarantee me she was an angel but I have my doubts. She went to play at the park and ran and ran and ran. She even went to visit her Uncle Jimmy a/k/a her boyfriend who gave her the most beautiful flowers to take home with her from Compositions. Wow!

In a holding pattern now as I wait for all my morning meeting people to finish serving breakfast in their respective inns....

New condo is fun to hang out but mostly the location is beyond perfect. 5:30 AM Ava and I walk all over the West End. So So beautiful here. What a fabulous neighborhood.

All for now, should be able to visit inns now, maybe even get some left overs :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


That last post looks like Ava's first play date was with Al Franken.... lol

Ava's first play date

Av had her first playdate last night with Duncan and Murphy Karu and it was fabulous. Candace has the most amazing house I have ever seen on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth and there is a special fenced in area for the dogs. PERFECT. They ran and chased and Dunc and Murphy did to Ava what she always does to us, flattened out and barked and ran and ran and ran. She looked so big next to them. Very, very nice for her.

I should have then come back to condo that we slept our first night in because she would have been exhausted and went right to sleep. But, we went to dinner so she was able to sleep in the car and rest up.

Candace and Dana had never met before though they have been friends on Twitter. That was great fun for them to finally meet. We went to have dinner at Inn by the Sea and ended up in the bar with appetizers. Yum... I love it there. NO! I don't want to buy it... (okay, maybe a little)

Anyway, Candace went to the ladies room and came back and said, "that's Al Franken right there". Dana and Candace, no fear girls, went over to talk to him and his wife, who is a Maine girl, been married 32 years" Me? I didn't go. I stayed behind and talked to the very cute bartender. who by the way is from Maine too.
Now it is off to a very, very busy Portland day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Portland Week

Headed off to Portland shortly. Lots on the agenda.

First, this evening Ava has a play date at my friend Candace's house with her two Yorkies, Murphy and Duncan. I am wondering if this is going to precipitate Ava wanting a dog of her own.... dinner afterward with Candace and Dana who is innsitting in Portland for a few days and working her culinary magic for guests at WEI.

Tomorrow I have meetings at Danforth and lots of work to do there. We are going to be talking with the Portland CVB about Harvest on the Harbor and how Danforth can participate with a Harvest Brunch. Want to bring my friend Carmen Gonzales, a celebrity chef from New York City up to the Portland scene, great opportunity for all. Carmen is close friends with Beth at WEI, which is how I know her. That foodie weekend will be right up all of their alleys. Tomorrow night having dinner with friends and pitching a really great idea that may have some serious wings :-)

May host a brunch on Wednesday or Thursday morning at Danforth. Waiting to hear from Leslie on some scheduling.

And MAYBE we'll go look at the latest property that I covet. Hmmm....

Oh yeah, tomorrow I am buying West End Inn...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dog Friendly Restaurants

OK - I have a new mission in life... doing research on where Ava can come to lunch and dinner. She was very good having lunch with Aunt Dee and Uncle David at Panera Bread in Augusta with Ev and I last weekend. And she was an angel at Jordan Pond House with the girls last week. (She was puzzled by the lemon in the water I put down for her but... :-)

So far I know we can go to Flatbread when we are in Portland next week. This is going to be fun.

Final, final new website announcement

Friday, August 7, 2009

Email that made me laugh from a funny guy:

Did you ever hire yourself that CFO?
I heard the job specs were: Seeking qualified CFO to oversee financial aspects of multiple upper end hospitality properties and related real estate based businesses. Applicants must mainatin stature of no less than 6’0” with athletic, muscly build. Broad shoulders are a plus. Should look good without a shirt. Successful candidates must have independent streak, but be willing to take orders without question. Applicants over the age of 30 need not apply. Must love dogs. A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or a related field and some experience are preferred, but by no means are required.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

West End Inn Portland

Well, another inn getting added to the portfolio. I have been leasing it and friend Beth has been running but situation presenting itself when I have to buy, well don't have to but....... Have some great ideas though. Redesigned it when we took over lease but since I'll own it on Friday, gotta take it a little further... :-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My new favorite quote,,, (they change daily)

"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

Monday, August 3, 2009

From a friend...

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
.....Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Team Swan

Love this picture of my first time homebuyer seminar crew. We had a fun lunch and class at Great Harbor Condominiums in Southwest Harbor. It took Tonya and me both to take the picture and make sure everyone was smiling at once and leaning appropriately so that everyone showed. Rare in a group picture this big that everyone has a smile and can be seen. Love it!
Front: Linda Jonas, Gail Caruso, Cissy Leonardi, Carroll Fernald and Erica Bates. Middle: Linda Savage and Midge Smith Back: Bill McFarland, Bradley Staeger, Mary Purslow, Jim Goett, Ted Koehler and John Bennett.