Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Half Birthday Quinn!

Quinn turned 1 1/2 yesterday at 7:54 pm EST. We didn't celebrate as Chris is out of town, but we'll surely have cupcakes when he returns.

Dad and I are taking the munchkins to the Concord Planetarium today and then Abigail has another horseback riding lesson. Here are some recent photos! I have not uploaded in a while!



Monday, July 20, 2009

Hello from NH, again.

It has been some time since I've posted, probably nearly back to when our niece Abigail joined us. We have been very very busy!

We spent last week up in Maine as the house had not rented that week. Before we left the last time Chris, Dad and I agreed that this week would be less rigorous. Fewer home projects and long sight-seeing drives, more unscheduled time. Chris took two vacation days at the beginning of the week, and we drove up on Saturday. We even managed to arrive before nightfall, something I think has happened only once before in 5 years of going there.

We had a great week, with mostly wonderful weather. We hiked the sandbar several times, and Grampa brought a small trap to put out at low tide. We only emptied it once, and it had captured three small green crabs. Heaven only knows what is in there now, we'll have to check again next week! We took Tuesday to go to Mt. Desert Island again and took the kids hiking on Ocean Drive, which takes you between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole down to Otter Point. It is a very busy hike but the views are fabulous and the rocks are really fun for the kids to scramble on. We hit Bar Harbor for dinner and some shopping (candy) and went home. I'm sad to say that all three adults were pretty much racked the entire next day from over-exertion. What it says that Chris and I were as spent as my 67 year old Father, well, he should feel pretty good about but I'm questioning myself. Gillie also loved the hike.

We came back here on this past Saturday and it looks like we're headed up yet again next weekend. We just can't bear to let a week languish when we work so hard for that wonderful spot! However we did resolve to hire a cleaning crew to come in when we leave, rather than pack, clean the house from stem to stern, then drive 350 miles in one day. I think that will be money well spent. We were all exhausted on Sunday.

However, Sunday was a glorious day, beautiful weather. Griffin and Abigail and I headed into the woods in the morning to pillage a small garbage dump there. We came home with some lovely pieces of broken blue pottery and a nice collection of bottles. They are all arrayed on the lawn until I figure out how best to clean them. Then we went down below the garden with Dad and picked two quarts of raspberries and ate lord knows how many, they were perfection for breakfast. After that I took all three kids and walked down the hill to see Leslie at Spinner Farm. When we were growing up her land was just a field, part of John Snow's farm. But it has since been divided and her portion is a horse and sheep farm. Naturally I am very excited about this. I can now purchase Alpaca fiber on one side of Clark Summit and Romney roving on the other side! AND she's a spinner, too! Anyway, it was really for the kids, of course, you know I wanted them to see the horses. We spent a good long while down there and they had a blast and we scheduled up some riding lessons, which they took today.

After a long push of the stroller back up Old County Lane, I made lunch from Dad's garden and some remnants of Ed and Diane's bread and some local goat cheese. Excellent. Same harvesting for dinner; a salad with Dad's romaine, radishes, onions and raspberries, also fresh green beans from the garden. The peas are late but should be finished shortly.

Griffin is having a great time with Abigail and Abigail is having a semi-great time with Griffin. Of course a 10 year-old can't be expected to get as enthusiastic about a 6 year-old as he is about her, but when left to their own devices they seem to find ways to have fun together. Both my boys make moon-y eyes at her, they adore her.

We have our Griswold's Family Vacation moments, to be sure. I seem to be enjoying wine a lot more lately. It is amazing how much Practice Makes Perfect with the drinking, huh? Luckily I have a natural breaker which is complete exhaustion. More than 1 glass and I'm asleep at the table :).

Chris flies out to CO and CA tomorrow, returns Friday. Dad and I have some museums in Concord to take the kids to, then on Wednesday we are going to do Boston.

Wish you were here!



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hello from Sunny New Hampshire!

We arrived here at Dad's house two days ago. Getting out of Maine was a tribulation on par with something usually reserved for bad Egyptians. All we needed to round it out was some kind of locust plague. We worked for 7 hours straight to pack up the stuff we brought and to clean, then we departed Machias at 2:30, stopped to visit with Alan until 3:30, and arrived in Deering after Midnight. I imagine the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth looking a little more refreshed than we did.

But the good news is that the sun has been seen in these parts for two days running now. And there have been no snake sightings inside Dad's house. Yesterday we went for a walk down to visit Suzanne and her boys, then we went to Concord where, despite Dad's efforts to stop me I purchased more candy from the Granite State Candy Shop. Also bagels from Bagel Works, and then we went out to dinner across from the State Capitol. Griffin was feeling a little punkish so while we waited for the food he and I took a little self-guided historic tour around the State House. FYI You NH folks the Time Capsule is scheduled to be opened 6/7/15. Wanna be here for it?

We left Gillie in the house, she managed to lock herself into the green room and then try to chew her way out. Gillie is a love, but she cannot be accused of above-average intelligence. We have some door reconstruction to do now.

So today we might mosey down to Suzanne's as she has rented a post-hole digger machine to put in the posts for her Alpaca field. We're going to climb clark summit and we're cooking out for the 4th. Liz is coming over and we're grilling steaks and veggies, and I'm making homemade strawberry shortcake. We will not see any fireworks here because they're not in Hillsboro until the Carnies come to town next weekend, and because it isn't worth it to me to drive to Concord for them. Unfortunately fireworks of any note are illegal here as well. Of course Dad has like 18 guns so we could make our own, but I've heard of that ending badly so we probably won't.

Hope you're going to have a festive 4th!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Afternoon in Lubec

These are in no particular order. Together with our friend Lauren we went up to Lubec yesterday. We visited Bayside Chocolates and Atlantic House, making our weekly donation in support of Downeast Chocolate production.

At the Fraziers house Brett and Chris took the 3 Frazier Boys and Griffin out for a walk into the Channel. That's the Channel Light (Sparkplug) in the distance.

Brett Frazier, as if he needed an introduction.

Once the boys were done eating dinner at Cohill's (that was the 1st picture), he took them for a walk down by the water.

This T-Shirt is awesome.

Some shots of the boys playing in the Jeep when Lauren and I took a "Stop the Fussing in the Back" break a the Polar Treat on the way home from Eastport.

Griffin on the jetty in Lubec, how gorgeous it is there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some Photos from This Week

We have had some gorgeous weather here this past week. Even the tides have been agreeable; high in the morning for breakfast, low for an after-lunch hike, and high again for our glass of wine on the deck before dinner. Here is the left side of the front yard and Small's Cove.

Here is Gillie enjoying the backyard and the Bucks Harbor "crick" as one local called it (I thought that was a midwest thing but I guess not).

This was taken from about 1/2 mile out into the cove on the sandbar, looking out toward Machias Bay.

Quinn really enjoyed being on his own in one of the back Adirondacks.

This is such a good shot of Griffin that I overlooked Quinn trying to rip his hand away from his neck.

Everything is bigger in Texas with the notable exception of trees. I had forgotten how TALL they grow in New England! Here is Griffin in one of our Spruce groves in the back. I love these trees.

Some of our collections from the beach, mostly muscle shells and driftwood.

The Rosa Rugosa have begun to bloom. Just one open flower makes the entire deck smell of roses.

And here we have the take from Lubec yesterday; Ed and Diane's gorgeous bread, chocolate from Bayside Chocolates and wool from Canada.
Today we have a big rain storm moving through. Chris left on Tuesday to fly to Atlanta for training that was supposed to be W/Th/F. However the IBM trainer never showed up and so they all just sat twiddling their thumbs for Wednesday. Then he arrived in Detroit last night, en route to Bangor, and his flight was finally cancelled at 1am. Dad sat waiting for him in Bangor at the airport and came home at 3am. So, Chris is finally rescheduled on a flight home today, should arrive in Bangor today at 3:30pm. I am so fried, all I can think to do is go shop for yarn, so we'll stop at Shirley's in Ellsworth on our way.
Best -


We had some amazing sunshine-y weather this week. Even the tides worked with us; high at breakfast, low for a walk after lunch and high again for a glass of wine on the deck before dinner.

The shot on the left is the front yard. On the right is taken from the sandbar out in the cove, looking out toward Machias Bay.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sunrise County - Not Just a Clever Name

It is currently 7am and I have been up for two hours now. The first 30 minutes were spent trying to convince Quinn that the "light light light" he's declaring he sees is really not morning light, it's actually happening in the middle of the night. But he will not be dissuaded and so this morning I am finally going to head to the hardware store for some blackout shades. I have been penny-wise and pound-foolish avoiding their purchase, lo these 5 years. I hope that tomorrow I have something new to report on our wake-up time.

Chris is still in Atlanta, and will arrive late late late tonight. Dad will pick him up in Bangor at 11:30pm, which is so late compared to Dad's normal bedtime that he'll probably have breakfast on the way home. The boys and I will be heading up to Lubec this afternoon for our weekly dose of wool, chocolate and bread. I expect Griffin to fall asleep on the way.

We have had a couple of really nice days outside. I had forgotten how nice the air feels up here, the smell of the ocean and the freshness from the forests. We stopped by the little local fabric shop yesterday for some pine fabric, I want to make one or two balsam cushions. Griffin and I have hiked the sand bar three days in a row now, it's actually a mile out and a mile back. Yesterday I took Quinn on my back and he just froze once we were alongside the harbor, the air is very chilly. I cannot believe anyone swims in this stuff. So he cried all the way back until we were in the shelter of the cove. Need to knit him up a wool hat, no joke.

Sun is out now but we're being threatened with rain by those weathermen. They have only been right about that once since we got here, though, so I'm optimistic.

Dad is heading back to NH for a few days tomorrow and our good friend Lauren from MA is coming up to visit for a few days so we'll have a great time!

Hope you are well, number here is 207 255 3624, it's never too early to call. Seriously. Never. Oh - and today is my brother's birthday! He's wicked old but younger than me so I won't give a number.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ok, so I couldn't figure out how to put photos on here and instead sent them all through Ofoto. But if you didn't get that link, let me know and I'll send it to you. *Now* I know how to post them, so, next time!

Chris is on his way to Atlanta for three full days of training. Dad drove him to Bangor today, he'll fly to Boston and then make a connection. He won't land in Bangor until 11:30pm on Friday, but Dad has offered to fetch him which is great. We wish he could be having vacation with us, but of course are grateful that he has a job that allows him to work from up here.

We have had two just gorgeous days in a row up here. Those weathermen lied! Bless them. This morning I put Quinn down for an early nap and Griffin and I headed out for a walk and then down to the beach to walk the sandbar. Dad is a better judge of distance, but I personally think it's about 1/4 - 1/2 mile out to the island on the other side of the cove. We took Gillie and walked it several times waiting for the tide to reveal the final stretch of the pathway, but alas. Our hunger got the best of us and after an hour and a half we came back in. We had a great time, though, and have a nice bag of shells to show for it. Griffin developed a fascination with Barnacles and wanted to bring some home for pets (no). Gillie did too, and appears to like eating them. Griffin has since done several illustrations of barnacles and we are going to read more about them tonight.

Wish everyone could partake in this gorgeous cool weather with us!



Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Sunny Day in Machiasport

I wish my camera weren't already filled with photsos, I would have taken so many more pictures today while the sun was shining, as that looks like a more rare occurrence than we would hope. Tomorrow we go back to three more days of grey and rain. Lucky for us, a grey day on the Maine coast is its own kind of gorgeous, we should be able to enjoy it for its rarity, coming from Texas.

Friday was wonderful because the boys and Dad and I drove up to Lubec for our yarn / chocolate / bread run. The Fraziers came with us and Barb and I hit the new yarn shop in Lubec, called Wags and Wool (they sell dog things too). They have this gorgeous location overlooking the bay, and some nice rustic wool from a mill not far away in Canada. I miss the small yarn shops we have here in New England. Lubec has a population that could easily be outnumbered by a smallish case of sardines, but it also has a yarn shop, god bless them.

Bayside chocolates was excellent, the bread we picked up was excellent, and we had a nice stopover at the Fraziers. Their house is looking amazing and Barb has done a lot on the gardens as well. The view from their living room window is nothing but dunes, bay, and the little Channel lighthouse.

Today included a rocket launch courtesy of Grampa and Griffin, and a rocket / pine tree separation process courtesy of Chris and a ladder and a pole. We had a chance to meet our trusty property manager, Joey Dennison, in person and go over work on the house. Through him we determined that the cat must have been here with a summer renter in 2008, as the carrier was here when he took over that fall. As I don't know who it was, I guess no one will be shot.

We walked down to the Bucks Harbor Shopping Mall this morning. I'll post pictures soon. It's this small 20x15' building that has some essentials like a griddle for bacon, some fridges for soda and a large inventory of fishing gloves. Walking in as obvious out-of-towners (or "from away", as they call it here) earns you a few solid stares and then the kind of deliberate ignoring and head turns that I usually only get from Quinn when I'm asking him to surrender something he isn't supposed to be playing with. 10 years ago I would have made them talk to me anyway, but now I'm too tired. They'll just have to content themselves with the unapologetic joy of our company. Dad has taken to walking down in the morning and coming back with all the local news. He is much more stealth Northern New England. NH and Maine can blend pretty well.

We're off to watch a movie with Griffin, Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. Tomorrow we have the pleasure of a visit from our friends Katrina, James and their two daughters from Allen, TX. They're up visiting her Dad in East Sullivan, Maine.

Please say a prayer for Judy Welker, our friend and our friend Michelle's Mom. She is so on our minds this week, as she begins her walk toward healing from newly-discovered breast cancer. There is good news on that score but I'll save it for tomorrow.


Sarah and the Dedmon Men

Friday, June 12, 2009

Settling in to Maine

We have another grey and rainy day here in Machiasport. Looking at the forecast, we're going to have only 3 out of 10 that won't fit that bill in the next week and a half.

When we arrived here we put together several little clues and determined that one of our renters had lied and brought a cat to live in the house. Our first clue was an empty cat carrier left in the garage (where is the cat??), our 2nd clue was my inability to breathe the next morning, and our 3rd clue was cat food under a radiator. I can only hope that this tenant is also the one that left the antique suitcase full of their belongings in the garage, so that I can have the pleasure of delivering it to the landfill. So, yesterday involved massive amounts of laundry at the laundromat (pillows, comforters, etc), and we will continue vacuuming and mopping today to try and remove as much dander as we can.

The boys are having a great time. Quinn loves toddling all over the house and getting into Griffin's legos. Griffin is currently enjoying some of his old favorite shows on the Kids Canadian channel, and today he and Grampa are going to start building some model rockets to launch. Chris had to spend about half the day yesterday rewiring what the Time Warner guys had done, in order to get his internet connection up. He will be working today, but will take a con-call from the road so that we can make our weekly Friday trek up to Lubec for the best bread in the world. Diane is baking us a Tortanno, two baguettes, one fruit loaf and her new lavash crackers. Soup is definitely on the menu for dinner so that we can justify further bread consumption. To make a good thing better, Lubec also has a new knitting / spinning shop that opened as a spin-off (no pun intended) of Done Roving farm. AND they have two chocolate shops. Bread, chocolate, wool. What else could one want? :)

I'm still unpacking, I'll start uploading some photos tomorrow. We are in the dead center of Lupine season, they are everywhere and they are gorgeous.