Western Cemetery | Portland, Maine

This past weekend my good friend Kim and I set out to explore Western Cemetery in Portland! The land was acquired by the city in 1829 and later expanded to its current size of 12 acres, and it was an active cemetery up until 1910. Sadly it’s notorious for desecrations, damage, and disorganization… there are a shocking number of broken headstones, some graffiti, and the whole layout just seems random and haphazard. From July 1st, 1988 to August 1st, 1989 there were an estimated 1,942 tombs desecrated, which is just… staggering. Apparently it is unknown exactly how many people are buried there, though it’s estimated at around 6,600. There’s a section of the cemetery known as the Old Catholic Ground which consists of primarily Irish Catholic immigrants. There were around 900 people buried in this section from 1843 to 1882, but today less than 60 headstones remain. Because of all of this general unrest this cemetery is known for its paranormal activity — there’s supposedly lots of very unhappy spirits resting (or, rather, not resting) there. We didn’t experience anything too odd… this time.

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Many of the headstones were completely buried…

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Kim being adorable…

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I was both creeped out and intrigued by the hole in this tomb…

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Also freaked out by the apparent scratches on this headstone…

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This one looked like two headstones sort of mashed together…

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Someone laid a branch down on this grave…

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Project 365! Days 15-21

Pretty happy that this past week was a productive one all around. I got out of the house a ton, photographed my first wedding of the year, and stayed on top of this project almost perfectly. I did miss one day — Tuesday the 20th. I remember going outside with Mukow and almost grabbing my camera but thinking no, we’ll only be outside for a few minutes… should have just done it! I didn’t end up doing anything outside of the house all day and completely missed my chance. I didn’t even realize it until Wednesday morning — I checked my camera in hopes that I photographed SOMETHING, but… alas. I am trying not to feel too guilty about it. I’ve got 21/22 days complete and that’s pretty damn awesome! So here’s this week’s photos…

January 15th: I took a short walk with Mukow into one of the nearby neighborhoods — I was on the search for a cemetery I could see from the bottom of our street. But I couldn’t figure out how to get to it so we headed home.

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January 16th: I tried to get some ASMR audio recordings up and decided to record myself reading some short stories — “Dagon” from H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon was up first. But then I got nervous about copyright infringement and took it down. :/

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January 17th: I photographed Kerry & Alex’s wedding, my first of the year! It was at Portland’s Ocean Gateway and it was amazing. Lots of love, a super fun wedding party, a gorgeous view, and we survived the 16 degree temperatures for some awesome outdoor portraits.

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January 18th: I met up with my good friend Kim and we headed to Western Cemetery to explore. It’s beautiful and has lots of old tombstones but it’s notorious for being neglected by the city and has so many broken headstones — it was pretty sad. It’s also supposed to have lots of paranormal activity — the most active cemetery in Portland. We didn’t experience anything… this time!

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January 19th: I spent some time outside with Mukow AND had a photo shoot with my hair stylist — she wanted to do something creative with a couple models and it was awesome. But I also tried to find that elusive cemetery again and realized it’s the nearby Mount Sinai Cemetery, which I’ve been to before. I stopped on my way home and popped in with my headphones and my camera. I had fun exploring in the beautiful sunset light until I noticed two dudes digging a grave. I’m plenty morbid but… that freaked me out a little bit.

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January 20th: MISSED IT! Wah. :'(

January 21st: I spent around an hour outside with Mukow and her neighbor/best friend Molly — they had fun playing with a squeaky bone together (which they later destroyed).

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Throwback Thursday! #7

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Welcome to THROWBACK THURSDAY! Today we’re going back to maybe 1993? I’d guess I’m around 6 or 7 years old which would make Gray 2 or 3, and we’re in Vermont at my grandparents’ old house. This place was our favorite place in the entire world. It was in Poultney, right on Lake St. Catherine, and we spent so much time in the yard, sitting on the dock, or out in the boat — catching frogs, fishing, having campfires and roasting marshmallows, picking rhubarb from the garden, playing in the sandbox, watching Grampa prepare the fish we caught for dinner. Absolute perfection! Not sure exactly what we’re doing here but we’re having with with Grampa, as usual, and damn my hair was LONG.

Etsy Loves! #11

Welcome to ETSY LOVES! This week’s theme is MOUSE PADS! As you can imagine there’s about a zillion options for mouse pads out there. Not so much varying in shape (they’re all either rectangular or circular and for good reason) but in pattern, color, and design? The options are endless. For me, I look at my mouse pad every single day. My job as well as my passion projects revolve around the computer so it’s where I am anywhere from 4-10 hours per day. I wouldn’t dream of having a boring, black mouse pad… mine happens to be covered in cats. :) Here’s some other awesome options for you…

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First row, from left: Kitten face mouse pad from SSKDesigns ($14) | Vintage flower mouse pad from SugarGiraffe ($12) | Purple dahlias mousepad from Laa766 ($9.75) | Citron yellow and gray chevron from SSKDesigns ($14) | Second row, from left: Ziggy chevron from Laa766 ($9.75) | DIY Totoro mouse pad from fengzhongqiyuan ($10) | Cat mouse pad from BENWINEWIN ($11) | Modern triangle from SSKDesigns ($14) | Third row, from left: Dark floral mouse pad from littlehawthorne ($10.25) | Geometric color from SugarGiraffe ($12) | Trippy cat mouse pad from Memeskins ($10.86) | Hexagon mouse pad from feltplanet ($18) | Ice cream sprinkles mouse pad from hhprint ($9.99) | Paintbox water color mouse pad from PepsiCarola ($9.99) | Moon mouse pad from BestOfferEver ($7.50) | Watercolor triangles mouse pad from littlehawthorne ($11.99)

Wishlist Wednesday! #10

Welcome to WISHLIST WEDNESDAY! I’m pretty excited about this collection because, as always, it’s badass. I hope you like it, too. :D

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#1 Cat-Eye Sunglasses from MANGO ($29.99). I am a liiiittle bit in love with these. Tortoiseshell frames and gradient lenses, plus that perfect cat eye… swoon!

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#2 In Pizza We Crust Pint Glass from Urban Outfitters ($8, or 2 for $10). Do I need a reason to love this, or is it painfully obvious? Yeah, I thought so.

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#3 The Golden Jewel Dress from ModCloth ($159.99). I am just so in love with this. The cut looks super flattering, the waist has a perfect bejeweled accent, and the metallic gold flowers… sigh!

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#4 Archway Shelf from Anthropologie ($498). Made from hand-welded pressed metal, this incredible shelf reminds me of some kind of gorgeous church architecture or stained glass window. I would love to fill it with tiny plants and knick-knacks!

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#5 Fahrenheit Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans from Piperlime (on sale for $134.99). I’ve been on a skinny jean kick lately (mostly in my imagination but that’s okay) and this slate gray is just perfection.

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#6 Pentahedron Coasters by Molly McGrath, for sale on Koromiko ($40 for a set of 4). I absolutely love these felt coasters — the geometric shape, the varying colors. They’d be perfect for our house that I am (slowly but surely) decorating!

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#7 Flying Fox Bat Skull from Michele Varian ($88). This tiny skull would love its new home in my office!

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#8 Formula X The Ombré Glitters in Clever ($12.50 from Sephora). I’m a huge fan of the color-shifting polishes and this blue/purple combination is just stunning.

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#9 Liquid Leggings from Old Navy (on sale for $14.99). Old Navy has been pretty on point with their leggings lately and these polyester/spandex leggings that would make me look like I was wearing some killer skinny leather pants are no exception.

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#10 My Fate Is In Your Hand Necklace from Plasticland ($16). So much perfection. Give it to me!

Mukow Monday! #9

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Yay it’s MUKOW MONDAY! This photo was taken today — about 30 minutes ago, actually. It’s 39 degrees and between the higher temperature and the all-day-and-all-night rain, there’s actually mud peeking through the snow. MUD! I never thought I’d be so happy to see it but there it is. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s still January and this is most likely a cruel trick to get me ready for spring before being plunged back into a cold, icy existence, but… the high temps are around 30 degrees all week and that’s okay with me.

We had fun playing outside for about 45 minutes which was great because Mukow loves — LOVES — the snow. And playing. And being outside. And watching the squirrels who were just hopping from tree to tree above us. Awesome. :)

Bailey Cemetery in the Snow

Last week I took Mukow on a walk and we decided (yes, this was a collective decision) to explore a cemetery that is right around the corner from us. We cut through the parking lot of the nearby school and up the hill to the cemetery. I couldn’t find much information about it online outside of it supposedly having a Colonial history and many unmarked and neglected graves. One site I looked at said there were 189 interments there, but there is nowhere near 189 graves there now (and I can’t even imagine 189 burial plots fitting into this tiny space), so… I’m not sure what’s up with that.

It’a also supposedly haunted, which I guess shouldn’t come as a surprise. I hadn’t looked up any haunting info before we went, but we did have a somewhat odd experience. We went in the front gate and walked straight up the middle and into the back right corner. I took some photos and Mukow sniffed around and then I attempted to take her back down the center so we could see some more… but she downright refused. She would sit down with all of her weight and wouldn’t let me pull her. So I loosened up and let her lead us, and she would very quickly take us back to the far right corner. This went on 3 or 4 times before I gave up and lead her across the back fence and into the far left corner, and she was fine with that, but looked nervously at that middle path. She allowed us to walk down the left fence and out of the cemetery. After I got home and looked up some information, it seems like the grave with the most paranormal activity is Charles Howard’s, right around the middle of the cemetery. Eep. I can’t help but think that Mukow sensed something there and didn’t want to walk by it again.

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Project 365! Days 8-14

I’m proud to say that I’m 15 days into Project 365 and I’ve taken at least one photograph (usually much more, though) every day! I’m trying to stay realistic — winter is a slow time for me so it’s fairly easy to keep up. I’m hoping that when my busy season kicks in I am able to stay as dedicated. Anyways, here’s days 8-14!

January 8th: I’m currently reading this awesome book — The Dead Roam the Earth by Alasdair Wickham. It’s all about paranormal activity in many different parts of the world — demons, hauntings, possessions, liminal creatures… it’s great.

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January 9th: We played out in the yard, per usual! This photo probably won’t crack anyone else up as much as it’s cracking me up, but it’s a good representation of how crazy Mukow gets when she plays with these sprigs of pine needles. She LOVES them. She’ll pounce on them crazily and whips them in the air with her mouth. It is hilarious and I took a bunch of photos when she was doing it (and now I’m cracking up looking back through them).

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January 10th: It was a WEE bit cold aaaaand the leaves in the front yard were frozen. Oof.

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January 11th: All three of us went for a walk in Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery, which was even more gorgeous in the snow. I fell absolutely in love with this headstone — it was like a blue gem in a sea of gray and white.

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January 12th: Mukow and I explored the nearby Bailey Cemetery (which is said to be haunted) — photos coming tomorrow. :)

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January 13th: I took a walk down the street with Mukow and ventured through an odd little path in the woods. We got a little past this point — right when the woods were about to break — but Mukow would NOT let us go any further. So odd. It’s kind of a weird spot and I’m not really sure what would have been up ahead, so now I am itching to go back!

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January 14th: I met up for coffee with my brother, Gray, at Tandem Coffee Roasters! He’s damn awesome. We got to chat for a couple hours and I enjoyed some delicious herbal tea and a jalapeño-cheddar biscuit (nom).

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Throwback Thursday! #6

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Today’s Throwback Thursday is from maybe 1997? Mom’s hair was still fiery red (and awesomely tall) and we’re posing in front of the school that Gray and I spent K-8 at! I’m not positive who took this photo but if I had to guess I’d say my grandmother, since she loves getting photos of us when her and my grandfather come to visit. I remember loving that green and red striped fleece and if I recall correctly, this was during a definite tomboy phase of my childhood, hence the lazy attempt at simply parting my hair in the middle and letting it do its thing. Oh who am I kidding, I’m just now picking up some conventionally “girly” habits at 27. ;)