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Out and about…

 

view from Monhegan Island

view from Monhegan Island

At the end of September Chuck and I went for a short stay along the mid-coast of Maine.  We love it so much here that we hate to leave.  We started our visit at the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.  It is a very special place with beautiful plants, trees and views.  We love to go to the gardens, Spring, Summer and Fall – it is always beautiful.

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love pumpkins!

love pumpkins!

We walked the trails and took notes on what we might want to add to our gardens — it is nice to go at all different times of the growing season to see what is blooming.  I like to have gardens that have blooms from late May until the first frost.  I also like to see different types of plants that I may not have seen in bloom – it makes it easier to decide what to plant and where.

The next day we took the ferry out to Mohegan Island.  The name of the Ferry was the Elizabeth Ann which was perfect because that is our daughters name.

Ferry to Monhegan Island

Ferry to Monhegan Island

It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was a wonderful trip out to the island – the sun was shining, the seas were calm and the air was just the right temperature.

Chuck on the ferry

Chuck on the ferry

 

view from the ferry

view from the ferry

view from the lighthouse on Monhegan Island

view from the lighthouse on Monhegan Island

We wandered around the island – took a short hike and ended up at the Mohegan Brewing Company.  We had a very cold beer and sat outside in the sun visiting with some of the other patrons.  As is turns out 2 of the people we were talking to were from the same area in NY as we were.  We discussed how small a world it is and the coincidence of meeting people who lived and worked right around the corner from us in NY, while having a beer 12 miles off the mainland on a small island in Maine.

Mohegan Island has 75 year round residents – they seem to be an independent brunch who like to live life with out the frills of the mainland.  I am not sure that I could live so removed from the rest of civilization but I would sort of like to try.  If not for an extended period of time, at least for a short stay.  I could sort of imagine spending my days making quilts, spinning yarn, reading great books and cooking wonderful hearty meals.  I might add this adventure to my bucket list.  Hmmm thinking….

Island where the Wyeth family lived

Island where the Wyeth family lived

afternoon view from dock in Monhegan

afternoon view from dock in Monhegan

On the way home from the island Chuck and I sat right beneath the pilot house.  The view was so peaceful and beautiful – we saw a whale cut in front of the boat and move off to the port side.  I had never seen a whale before and have always wanted to go on a whale watch.  Imagine my joy when I saw that amazing animal right in front of me.  It was a great day and a wonderful mini adventure.

Since I have gotten home I have been working on quilts.  I sent two quilts off to a wonderful organization that provides quilts to kids in hospitals and abusive situations.  The groups name is Quilts for Kids.  www.quiltsforkids.org   – if you are interested in the group check out the website and if you can’t make a quilt you can always send a donation.  Several other quilts that are gifts have been made and there are several more in the works.

Enjoy the wonderful weather that we are having.

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

Oh my what a month February has been….

the view from my front door

the view from my front door

I can’t ever remember a month where we had back to back to back storms.  It would storm on Saturday and Sunday and then storm again on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We would just get dug out from one storm in time for the next one to hit.  It has been epic!  I have heard various reports on the total amount of snow that has fallen – anywhere from 70″ to 90″!  That is a lot of snow.

During all of this we have also been breaking records for cold temps.  BRRR!!!  let’s just say it has really been winter here in the Northeast and especially along the coast.  I am not complaining I live in Maine not down south where they freak over a dusting.

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

While all of this has been happening we brought home a new baby.  The four legged kind.  Miss Stella has joined our family.  Stella is a chocolate lab who is a little spitfire.  Stella has us all jumping at her command, she is just so darn cute.

Stella - one of her rare quiet moments!

Stella – one of her rare quiet moments!

Love that face!

Love that face!

Gracie is not at all sure that she is happy about the newest family member but she is definitely telling Stella to stay our of her space.  They are sharing toys and people but as with all sisters they do get on each others nerves!

Gracie telling Stella the rules

Gracie telling Stella the rules

During all of this fun in the snow we have been doing some puppy training.  Stella knows to go to the door and ring the bells when she has to go outside, she comes when she is called – even when I don’t have a treat in my hand and she sleeps through the night.  She does not want to accept that Gracie is the boss yet but she will learn.

 

 

 

It has been a great month to stay in and cook and sew – I have been stocking the freezer with all sorts of goodies that make it easier for me to have a hot meal on the table and still get some sewing and quilting done.

I don’t mind the snow but I am not in charge of relocating it after every storm.  Our snow blower decided that it didn’t want to be in charge of snow removal either and after 15 years it died.  We will get a new one next year when there is actually a selection.  Not many snow blowers available in the Northeast these days.

Here is a little peek at some of the sewing that I have been doing lately.

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay warm, Spring is coming – hopefully the snow will melt by May.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BLIZZARD of 2015- Juno…

 view from our front door January 27, 2015

view from our front door January 27, 2015

The Blizzard of 2015 may have passed by NYC but it decided to visit the coast of Maine and pull up a chair and sit for awhile.  The picture above was taken at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2015.  At this point the wind had been howling for many hours.  It is very difficult to get a measurement of how much snow we got because it was blowing all over the place.   The estimates are about 24 inches, 2 feet of snow is a lot of freaking snow!!!

there really is a driveway there!

there really is a driveway there!

In some places there was grass showing and in others it was hip deep.  There was no point going outside to try to clear the snow at this point because there were several more hours of heavy snow predicted and many more hours of heavy winds.

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So when the weather outside is cold, snowy and windy, I bake.  The house is chilly when it is very windy – at least it feels chilly to me, so I turn on the oven and prepare things to bake in it.  Today I made corn muffins with blueberries and oatmeal raisin cookies.

corn muffins with blueberries

corn muffins with blueberries

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

I had a wonderful dinner planned but needed to warm up the house first.  I made Braised Beef short ribs and mashed potatoes for dinner- the plan was to make something that could be cooked completely on the stove just in case the power went out.  I have a gas cook top so when the power goes out I can still cook.  The generator doesn’t power the oven so the baking has to be done early but I can cook on my gas stove.  Thankfully we did not lose power in spite of Juno’s best efforts.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

Chuck and I decided to go out to clear the snow at about 2:00.  It was still snowing and blowing but if it gets too high you just can’t get through it so it is better to do it in stages.

The wind calmed down over night  – it is amazing how loud it is.  I woke up when it got quiet at some time around 2 AM.

This morning it is still cloudy but the snow and wind have moved on to Nova Scotia.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

Chuck went back out to clear the snow that blew over the walks and driveway last night.  You could hardly tell that any snow had been cleared it had blown over so much.  It is a winter wonderland for sure and there is more predicted to come on Friday and then next Monday.  We love the snow but eventually you run out of places to put it all.

thinking of Spring flowers.  This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

thinking of Spring flowers. This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

the snow is covering the fence

the snow is covering the fence

We go to pick up our new puppy Stella tomorrow.  We will be up very early in morning to go and get her.  I will be posting pictures of Stella and Gracie as soon as I can.  Gracie is in for a somewhat rude awaking, she has been queen dog for 6 years and now she will have to share us.  Should be interesting.

Tonight I sew and I will show you the latest work that I am doing on Bonnie Hunters latest Mystery quilt.  I am loving the way it is coming out.  It sparkles!!!

Stay warm and safe… check on your neighbors and enjoy the Season of Winter.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

Grand Illusion step 2….

Well Bonnie Hunter continues to challenge us -http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/grand-illusion-mystery.html

I have been quilting for over 30 years and Bonnie seems to throw us a curve with every new step!  I love it!!!  The fact that I am doing a type of block that I have never done before is wonderful.  I have to slow down and be precise, be sure that I am cutting my strips accurately and be very careful when I am stitching the pieces together.  I have finished step 1 and I have everything cut for step 2.  My blacks are from yardage because I had it and didn’t have a lot of scraps of any blacks – my whites are a couple of white on white fabrics.  Once again I had several pieces of yardage that totaled the needed amount of fabric.  I wanted to use what I had not buy anything new for this quilt.

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

I used the second option for cutting and piecing this step.  I stitched several together and although they were close they were a bit small or the triangles were a bit wonky – so – I took them apart and restitched them.  I went a bit slower and used a scant 1/4″ seam and things came together much better.  They measured up just right.

finished blocks  - lots more to do but on my way!

finished blocks – lots more to do but on my way!

I am happy with the end results but I learned a lesson with this one.  Slow down, use the skills you have learned, re-read the instructions that Bonnie has provided and all will turn out much better.

The weather here on the coast of Southern Maine has been miserable – yesterday we started with freezing rain and wind – the day warmed up to about 34 degrees and the rain really started to pour!  It was the sort of day that you are happy to be inside!  Today is rainy and windy.  Just a lousy day!  I would much rather have snow at this time of year but I know that is not a popular opinion.  There is a Pot Roast in the oven, homemade bread just out of the oven and a bottle of wine waiting to be opened.  Perfect for a stormy day.

Stay warm and dry…

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

 

It has been a busy time of year for me…

I have been having a lot of fun and having a lot of great adventures.  In mid-August I went to my parents house for a party.  I met 2 of my sisters and their families there and we had a party.  Our parents were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  Wow! 60 years is a really long time.

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

We had a really great party!  We sat around the dining room table and laughed and told our the nieces and nephews funny stories about their parents and grandparents.  My parents have been a wonderful example of love, family and fun for the past 60 years.  We all have wonderful memories of growing up laughing, teasing each other and developing a great sense of humor.  It was a wonderful party!

in late September for our 29th wedding anniversary Chuck and I decided to take a day off and go to the Common Grounds Fair in Unity, ME.  After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes without moving an inch we decided to redirect our fun.  We went to the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor instead.  We had a very nice lunch and then walked around the gardens.  It was a beautiful fall day.

Boothbay Harbor

Boothbay Harbor

Funny Selfie - aren't all selfies funny?

Funny Selfie – aren’t all selfies funny?

After walking around the Gardens we went into town.  We walked around town – had an ice cream cone and then headed home.  I am pretty sure we must have stopped at one or two quilt shops along the way – it is so hard to pass by one.

I have been doing a lot of sewing and quilting and cooking.  I canned some wonderful salsa and some very sour pickles, I made several dinners with home grown peppers.  Aren’t these beautiful!

homegrown peppers

homegrown peppers

We went for a lot of walks near where we live…IMG_0025

Life is good in Maine.  I will show you more pictures of my adventures tomorrow.

Be Kind…

Faith

Let the good times roll…

In a few hours the first of our 4th of July guests will arrive. For the past 10 years all of our kids and other various friends and family have been joining us here to celebrate the Fourth of July. This year we will total 15 for the weekend and 20 or so for the actual Fourth of July celebration.

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We went to the market yesterday and will make 2 more trips before next weekend is over. It is a wonderful family reunion every summer. We will spend time on the beach, in the pool, and around the fire pit in the backyard. We will play games and tease each other and reminisce about visits to the emergency room during past visits. It seems that there is always one trip to the ER for some sort of injury, usually it is nothing life threatening but on one occasion it was an almost ruptured appendix – Elizabeth.

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The lounge chairs are out, the inflatable rafts are blown up, the flower pots are planted and the yard is looking beautiful. The menus are still being tweaked to satisfy even the pickiest eater, and I am getting excited. This is a tradition that I started to make memories. I wanted our children and grandchildren to always have the happy and fun memories of coming to Maine in the summer.

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Last night we started the first fire in the new fire pit. It was a very relaxing way to end the week and a great way to get into a vacation frame of mind. For Chuck and me it will be a “stay-cation” but to be honest there is really no where we would rather be than here surrounded by family and friends.

If you are traveling this weekend stay safe and have a wonderful trip. If you are enjoying a “stay-cation” have a great time.

Be Kind….
Faith

A few long weeks…

So the weather here in Maine has been good and bad this spring. My allergies have been horrible and to top it off I picked up some sort of virus that has had me feeling pretty lousy these past few weeks. It has been a chilly, damp rainy spring here along the coast of Maine.

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If you notice the date on the thermometer it is May 28th. 45 degrees on May 28th, that is crazy!

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This is a picture of some of the flower parts that have since been appliquéd onto the raffle quilt. I have done my part, now another member is doing the long arm quilting, she will then pass it to yet another member who will put the binding on. It is wonderful when we have a group of quilters working together.

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This is a picture of my favorite pincushion. I have had it for over 20 years, it is wool roving that has been rolled together. I love the colors and the size and shape.

Last weekend I used my new FreshTech canner. I made strawberry rhubarb jam and strawberry jam. It was very easy to make with my new canner and it didn’t heat up my kitchen and it was done very quickly.

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Our pool was opened today – they worked amidst the rain drops. It needs to clear up before we can vacuum it but the fact that it is open means summer must be on it’s way.

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It looks more like pond than a pool but once the water clears it will be crystal clear and Gracie (our chocolate lab) will be swimming long before any people do.

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This little fellow was watching the pool opening. The pool cover had been protecting one of his little holes and now that the cover is off the entrance to his home is no longer hidden. I don’t think he was very happy. Oh well he can move out anytime – that would be fine with me.

So now I will get back to some of my other projects – I have a long list of quilts to make.

Be Kind….
Faith