Monday, August 4, 2014

Tis the Season

The Blue Berries are in season.  Picking is a treat at our favourite barrens up the hill.  The harvest is plentiful already and due to the heavy rains lately, the berries are plump and easy to pick.  

Plink, plunk....the sound of the berries hitting the bottom of the pail.  No, Sully, there are no bears here today to scare you.  

Please don't eat my berries.  "Pick your own berries, Little Sal."  Mummy recited the dialogue from the famous book "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McClusky.

I got brave and made a pie.
My new kitchen has tons of room to spread out and make a mess.

oops...forgot to photo the finished product.  It was beautiful and greatly anticipated by dinner time.
You can see it was well-appreciated.  

Jam making next????

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Birthdays

Friends and family gathered for the event.

Jeanie, you look sooooo serious!

Niels and Peter compared their pates from under their hats.


The cake was a BIG hit!

My all-time fav photo of the summer so far!

Happy Days to Daughter and Son-in-Law.  It's always a treat to celebrate with you.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

She's Famous!

This weekend, the second annual Plein Aire Festival, a juried art competition, was held in Castine.  Chrissy Nickerson Kaech was thrilled to have been invited to participate.  She beat out over 50 other artists for the privilege!

The first day of the big event dawned in heavy rain and fog...



The skies began to clear by one o'clock.  Lunch and a new painting spot, at Dennet's Wharf was a relief.


As the weekend continued, the weather got better and better.  Our favourite artist was seen all over town:  on Main Street, on Pleasant Street, on the Golf Course, on the highways and byways....
She was very productive, painting right up til the last minute of the last day.


Chrissy is very approachable while she works.  Half the fun is meeting those who show interest in her work.

And then, mothering never takes a holiday.  The family likes to visit too, when Mum's gone all day, for a whole weekend!

Finally, the hard work was done and the judging began.
Chrissy won an honourable mention award:  a big green ribbon and a goody bag.  Her work stood out from the others, with her style, bright colour and brush work being significantly different.  Once sales began, the public affirmed the judges' choice....she sold 6 of her 10 paintings!




The Castine Patriot Newspaper and the Maine Magazine both took photos and interviewed Chrissy for up-coming publications.  She's famous and we can say, "we knew her when....."







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Seals, Windjammers and Beach Picnics

The glorious days of summer are here in Downeast Maine.  We're off to Fiddle Head Island for a beach picnic, but first, we're taking a side trip to see the seals basking in the sun on the Green Ledges off Western Island.




Aware of our intrusion into their space, the seals shuffled themselves off the ledges and into the water, preparing for whatever might happen next.


We watched quietly, even Nelson didn't make a peep.  Our best efforts to entice them close to the boat met with decided distain.

That was our best viewing of the seals in many years.  Time to move on to the picnic part of our day.


Fiddle Head is connected to Hog Island at low, low water.

Mummy, please carry my "boat" to the water.  I'm going sailing!

Looking for crabs, using Papa Buz' proven method of lifting the seaweed mats with a stick.
Found one!
Oops, he got away.
Boy, they are FAST little beasties.

Oh, look!  There goes a Windjammer, heading out from Buck Harbor.


What an exhausting morning.  Time to head home for naps.See you next time.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Toeing The Line

You tattooed your legs!!!  What the....????

During WWII, the war effort commandeered silk to make parachutes and powder bags.  Nylon was invented by DuPont in 1938 and nylon stockings became the preferred hose, due to the shrink proof and moth proof qualities.  As the war went on, nylon also was commandeered for parachutes, rope and tire production.  Nylon and silk stockings cost an arm and a leg, and became as rare as hens' teeth.  Cotton or rayon hose were a sorry replacement--they bagged at the knees, shrank and were "just not nice".  Many a young lady went dancing in cotton ankle sox and pumps.

Fashion sense demanded more.  

To imitate the look of the black seam of real silk stockings,  my Mum and her sisters took turns standing on the kitchen table to have a line drawn with eyebrow pencil up the length of their legs.  Can you imagine standing still during that ticklish operation?  Did they have to remember not to cross their legs to prevent smudging the lines, or did the line last overnight to make it to work the next day?  Did they hope it didn't rain on their big night out?  Meanwhile, returning servicemen smuggled home their "chutes" for their sisters or their fianc├ęs to make wedding dresses.

These days, the retro look of silk stockings has been taken up a notch.


No, I did not tattoo my legs.  These are nylon stockings, and yes, they still cost an arm and a leg!  The black line starts at the toes and goes alllllllll the way up.


As we were getting ready for the wedding last weekend, my sister commented that it looked as if I had been tattooed.  Almost as soon as I got to the ceremony, people were shocked to see that this 65 year old grandmother had become an "ink junkie".  Too funny!  I didn't really get the reaction I was expecting, but then, I didn't go unnoticed either.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Little By Little, Things Come Together

My goodness!  It's been over a month since my last post.  Back in the day, I used to post three times a week.  Getting lazy, I guess.  The past two months have been a whirlwind of busy for us, opening the cottages, doing battle with the mice, landscaping the torn up property, and MOVING INTO OUR RENOVATED TOWER!!!

You know when you get sideswiped by feelings of wonder?  That is how it is here in our new space.  The outcome has totally surpassed our expectations.  We slowly walk from room to room, taking it all in, saying, "What did we ever do to deserve this???"

Captain B has designed and built a 14 foot harvest table for the new dining room.  No small feat, let me tell you.  He confessed that at the outset, he feared it might be too big a project that would never come to completion.  He beams with pride at his accomplishment now and revels in the well-deserved compliments being showered on him.  Here are the photos:

The first step was building the three sturdy saw horses to support his work.

The leg joints....I love the dowel insets over the screw holes.

Building the frame.  
There are no photos of cutting the fourteen foot timbers because it took two of us to hold them.  Besides, the flying sawdust and wood chips would have been too blurry in the pictures.  And then, there was the fact that we were both coughing and sneezing from the dust!

A great deal of forethought went into the plan to support the length and breadth of the table.  Many brilliant designs were put forth, but in the end, simple and strong carried the day.

No driftwood or beach stone accents were harmed to produce this table.

It took four strong men to carry the table top from the barn to the house.
The final piece-de-resistance was the Deer Isle granite inlay.

The finishing touches....and.....

Ta Da!
We're ready for the feeding of 5000!
And the buying of a dozen new chairs!!!!

The hard work is behind us now and we are ready to play.  The family begins arriving later this week, beginning a summer of delight.  Each day is a gift to be appreciated and I am thankful.

Who knows when I will post again?  I'll see you when I see you.  Until then, let's make each day count for eternity.  Blessings of peace, love, joy and thankful hearts be yours, Dear Readers.





Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung....Finally!

Friends in Britain and the deep South have been extolling the delights of spring for some time now.  Easter came and went, and Ontario was still shivering with the daily frosts.  We occupied ourselves with diversions, trying to keep warm.

We decided it was time for the annual hair cuts.



What a transformation!

Everyone was in a jolly mood.

The die-hards bundled up and went golfing....
even in the rain, the wind and the flooded, muddy mess of it all.




You know it's wet when the sand trap has become a water hazard!

It's taken five weeks, but these chocolate bunnies have made way for....

Live rabbits on the lawn.

The flowering trees are now in bloom, just in time for Mothers' Day!



If only every blossom on my cherry tree would yield a red delicacy!

The birds are back.

Gold finches.

Female Cardinal.

House Finch.

Red Wing Black Bird.

 Grackles.

The squirrels have become so frustrated by my squirrel-proof bird feeders, they have taken to decimating my tulips for revenge!  Nasty beasts!!!

The garden has been whipped back into shape, after an extremely harsh winter.  I replaced 11 rose bushes that didn't survive.  The trees have burst forth in leaf in the past four days, and the hope for warmer weather seems about to be fulfilled, sooner than later.  AT LAST!  This Snow-Bird, for one, has become climatized to tropical temperatures.  Coming back to Canada before full-on-summer, is a rude awakening.  Still, spring is a joyful, invigorating time of year.  I love it.

How is it where you are?  Has it stopped snowing yet in Alberta?????