Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maine Vacation 2009

As I mentioned in my previous post, the annual family vacation up to Maine is one of the truly enjoyable events that make my Augusts super busy!
We all stay at my uncles "cabin" on William's Pond in Bucksport, ME. Bucksport itself is a charming town with a little movie theater:

And the locally famous Gifford's ice cream shop:

Which truly does have yummy, yummy ice cream...

It also has easy access to Fort Knox, which I forgot to take a picture of but you can see in the top right corner of this picture of the "new" bridge:

See it there hiding behind the lamp post? Oy... How about now?

Incidentally, that paper posted on that lamp post also highlights one of the great features of this area: fresh seafood! That's a posting about catch size requirements and limits. We had a pretty spectacular lobster/scallop/shrimp dinner for Hubby and my birthday (mine's the 17th and his is the 18th.)

Don't they look like they're having fun? Well, the lobster eaters were.
Those that are terrified of lobsters (me... I know, I know- there's no logic in this!) were made great fun of.
Al- the professional chef of our group and the man responsible for the Wild Woman of the North photo at the bottom of my page- decided I needed a new Maine adventure picture. So in honor of my 30th birthday he dared me to put a lobster in the pot. Well, I'll spare you the full internal debate that went on and get right on to the photographic evidence:

Can you see my tonsils there? I was SCREAMING. Someone had untied one of the lobster's claws and it went from being perfectly docile in my mother's hands to flapping, flopping and clacking in mine!

Bucksport also happens to be just a little over an hour away from Acadia National Park. Our family tradition is to take any new guests over to Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers.

Happily I don't think a summer has passed in my memory that we haven't had guests of one sort or another to use an excuse for popovers!
If you don't make reservations it will likely be more than an hour wait for a table on the lawn, but you can always pick blueberries in the field:

or walk around the lake and count frogs to pass the time.

And if you're wondering, the answer is yes, we do always look that bedraggled while dining on the lawn. Tea (or lunch) is generally preceded by a three hour hike somewhere in the park. The great thing about hiking in this area is that with just an hour's effort gets you some pretty incredible views:

This is a great hike- you start by walking the first half of the Jordan Pond Nature Hike, then head up Sargeant Mtn. This is the view from the top of Sargeant (and that's a trail marker, not a grave marker!)

Then you follow signs for the Penobscot summit which takes you along this rolling expanse of exposed rock that connects the two summits. When you hike back down the other side of Penobscot Mountain you end up just minutes from Jordan Pond House!

Another favorite is on the other half of the island by Echo Lake.

I forget the name of the trail itself, but it's very short- 1 mile, maybe even only .5- and straight up!

In places there are ladders bolted into the rock so us laymen can enjoy the view along with the pros! But the whole thing only takes about an hour- talk about bang for your buck!

If you do go for this hike, then bring your bathing suit because that beach down there is lovely!
The sitting space is somewhat limited, but the water is crystal clear and there is a very slow grade into it.

Most of those people in the water are standing!

All in all it was a fantastic mini-vacation, as usual!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The In-law guest bedroom REVEALED

August is a crazy crazy month around here. Between the four family birthdays, family vacation, and all the normal summer activities, the blog takes a backseat! But I promised the new guest room reveal, so with minimal commentary, here it is:

This was from the home inspection.


For those that want the full story, read on:

Note the drop ceiling. For more on why the drop ceiling was there, read about the window sill debacle.

Then there was the IN BETWEEN period:


The wall color is Sheer Green by Valspar (6007-7A).

The trim and doors are untinted white base from ACE.

Yes, I intentionally painted the outside of the door a different color than all the inside doors and trim. The pure white just looked too stark in the brown hallway.


All of the white furniture is hand-me-downs or roadside finds united by three coats of primer and a light coat of the un-tinted white used on the trim. Except for the bed, which I found for $75 on Craigslist last fall.

And finally, with accessories, DONE :

The sconces were from Old Sturbridge Village ages and ages ago and have been hiding in a box in the basement. The mirror was from TJMaxx (I plucked it from the living room, taking one from the dining room to put there!), and the curtains were bought a few years ago from Target and rescued from my WWII storage trunk.

I picked the wild-flower bouquet from the field behind the house. That was a bit of an adventure in itself... did you know bees come to collect pollen around sunset? I didn't... The vase is a candle holder from HomeGoods, $6.99 if I remember right.

The little shelf above the bed was left in another room by the previous owner. We touched up the white paint, added new brackets and hung it here. Family photos and a small model ship fill it nicely for now.

On the nightstand is a brass and enamel bowl from India for last minute jewelry removal. The photo is another family shot, this one from my brother-in-law's wedding. The lamp was $12.99 at Christmas Tree Shop.

And finally the ladies from Brimfield hang above the bookcase ($55 for the pair.)

Well there it is! I'm quite pleased with it. The room simply glows when the afternoon light filters in through those yellow curtains and onto the pale green walls. The only problem now is that I keep drifting down the hall to admire it, forgetting that there may be a sleeping parent in there!

What do you think?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest Bedroom Construction

Oh my goodness, talk about a PROJECT! With the in-laws arriving this Tuesday, we have been in a FLURRY trying to get their room ready for them!
The problem began last fall when just months after moving in we discovered the upstairs window sills were rotted out and were leaking into the house.

Do you see how this room had a drop ceiling? Well, I've lost the picture of exactly what that was hiding (behind three layers of panels in some places!), but it resulted in this enormous, moldy hole:

There's Hubby putting in new insulation after all the wet, moldy insulation has been stripped out, the studs were scrubbed and everything left to dry over the winter. You can also see where the plaster just fell off the wall and ceiling in some places from all that trapped moisture. Once the insulation was in we put up new drywall panels.

And then we started the plastering:

Which began a two week cycle of plaster, and sand...

Plaster ...

And sand...

Until FINALLY, the room was ready to prime! Though first we had to sand all the trim really well because all the paint was peeling off... but then we got to prime!!

Do you see that BEAUTIFUL, SMOOTH ceiling and wall?!

After almost a year of that room looking like a construction zone, this feels like a miracle!!

Tomorrow we're on to painting the ceiling, trim, doors and walls. After that the drip clothes come up and we have to find a way to get the last of the plaster dust up... then all that newly painted white furniture goes in!

And Tuesday the parents show up!

I'll share with everyone what the finished room looks like after the in-laws arrive, because I want it to be a surprise for them!