Saturday, March 28, 2009


My husband and I built our home twenty seven years ago. Our taste, I should say my taste is considered "primitive," well worn, antique, lovingly used.(you get the picture.) Now we are in need of replacing this well worn kitchen counter top. It is black laminate and held up well maybe ten of the twenty seven years since it's instillation. Counter tops sure have changed since 1982, especially the cost! I have looked at Granite, Corian, Quartz, Soapstone, Silestone and Solid Formica. This is a large investment and I want to make the right decision for us. If any of you lovely people in blog land have these materials in you're kitchen would you be willing to give me some advice and help steer me in the right direction. I love the Granite, but think it will look to fancy in our kitchen. I have Pine Kennebec Kitchen Cabinets, large black kitchen sink, black appliances and no island. I am leaning towards the Corian, but not sure how it will "really" hold up. I love the look of black soapstone, but alot of maintenance. Please help I am open to any and all suggestions!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This morning I decided to put these bananas to good use.(Don't you just hate it when bananas become speckled, mushy and draw the attention of fruit flies) I could not bear to throw them out. However, being tired of my "same old" banana bread recipe I went on a search and found the website of"Chubba Gurl" She discovered a Banana Cake recipe ( but could not remember where) Having all the ingredients on hand I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did as it is delicious! ( I added the walnuts)

I've posted the recipe below if anyone would like to give it a try. Thanks Cubba Gurl.


1/2 Cup Butter Softened

1 1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Cups Flour Sifted

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Cup Milk

1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

3 Bananas Mashed add 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda to Bananas.
Grease and flour a 9x13 pan

Cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs then vanilla. Add mashed bananas that have been mixed with 3/4 baking soda. In a separate bowl sift dry ingredients, slowly add to liquids, then add milk.

Bake in 350 oven, I baked mine for 30 minutes and it was perfect. Cool and add cream cheese frosting. Beat 1/2 stick butter, 8 o/z cream cheese, 1 lb powered sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla. Yummy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Winslow get back here, its time to start spring cleaning! March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."
Susan Reiner

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Today is Maine Maple Syrup Sunday. It is a day when the public can visit "sugar houses" walk around and see the buckets on the trees, watch a boiling demonstration, sample the syrup, and purchase items made with maple syrup. Some of the items include traditional pancakes with syrup, syrup on ice cream, soft serve maple ice cream, maple cotton candy, maple cookies, maple donuts, maple cream candy, maple sugar candy and maple baked beans. All are delicious!
We are fortunate that down the road a piece is Parson's Dairy Farm. The Parson's milk fifty dairy cows, have a pair of steers, horse, pony, goat, chickens, rooster and a "sugar house".
The ideal conditions for the sap to run are warm sunny days and cool nights. The sap usually runs for approximately one month beginning in early March. Pictured above is a collection container, a plastic barrel with tubing connected allowing the sap to directly run in.My preference for collection is the old fashioned way. A metal tap in the tree, lid, and hanging metal bucket. I love the simplicity it represents.

This collection barrel is being pulled by a vehicle called a bombardier. It takes the collected sap right to the sugar house and is poured directly into the evaporator. As you may notice" mud season" has struck and it is always a good idea to wear mud boots when visiting a sugar house!
The Parson's sugar house is tucked behind the family farm in a wooded clearing. Sap season is a great time to catch up with neighbors and friends!
There is nothing like the fragrance of maple syrup in the air, it smells heavenly! The steam is rising, the evaporator is doing it's job.

This evaporator is a wood fired oven with a complex maze of flues for the syrup to run through. The oven reaches an ideal temperature of 219 degrees. The liquid is filtered and then bottled into glass, tin or plastic containers.Hi ladies, good of you to pop out and say hello!If you are fortunate to have a sugar house in your town or one close by, stop in for a visit. Buying local products is great for you and the producer. Buy local it's a good thing. Till next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Oh, my winter bound spirit has been awakened by the beauty of this blue sky and 50 degree temperatures. Winslow Homer do you hear those chickadee's? Oh, look! the driveway is appearing.

The Soap Wart has decided to make an appearance. Here come the Day Lilies, they too are waking from winter slumber. The magic of spring is beginning, a long awaited and welcomed sight. Yippee!

Sunday, March 15, 2009



Saturday, March 14, 2009


Thursday's flower show was a great way to get a glimpse of spring and escape the winter white landscape that surrounds us here in Maine. Mom and I stood in line ten minutes before the doors opened and let me tell you the "Southerly"breeze off the ocean was cold! Once inside, however, the sights and sounds quickly transported us into another world.Let me begin by saying I am not a photographer nor do I have fancy photo equipment. I take pictures to the best of my ability. I was a wee bit disappointed with the flower show. Don't misunderstand, I enjoyed it very much and I will go again next year, however the " magic" just was not there. For Example a lovely white Lilac, I love Lilac's they are one of my favorite spring flowering trees, however, this setting seemed to "Blah". Succulents and herbs planted in a old recycled lobster bucket. I did like this idea and I do plant in old "whiskey barrels."I love Delphinia and this color blue is one of my favorites. It was planted with Pansy's and Nicotiana. Very pretty.Geranium's inter mixed between a flag stone pathway. A campfire against a "Maine" woods setting. Very inviting. I can taste the marshmallows!A hard scape waterfall, the sound was very tranquil. I would love this in my backyard.A lovely Weeping Mulberry tree planted with a mixture of bulbs, perennials and other flowering shrubs. Loved the color of the Hosta's against the field stone
Finally, color. A mixture of annuals and perennials against a Maine Cottage. Shells on the windowsills, Adirondack chairs on the porch, spade left in the dirt. An inviting scene, you just want to sit, drink some ice cold lemonade and watch the boats sail by. The stone table is set for dinner, the moon is full, a lovely woodsy backdrop. How very romantic and inviting. But there's a catch, if you live in Maine you know this scene is almost impossible. You see we have Black flies in the Spring, then it's Mosquito's till a good hard freeze and if that is not enough to keep you out of the garden the Tick's will get ya!
Till next time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Tomorrow my Mom and I will be attending the Portland Flower Show. Oh! to have the sights, sounds, and fragrance of spring over take one's senses. I will be looking for color ideas to incorporate in my perennial gardens. This garden below contains Shasta Daisy's, Blue Bell Flowers, Rose Campion, Pink Mallow, Lamb's Ear, Blue Delphinia and Lady's Mantle. I love the lime green "pop" the Mantle gives this garden. So tomorrow I'm off to discover what ideas are waiting for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day here in Southern Maine. Snow was melting, birds were singing, mud appearing. ( yes, a welcomed sight) Winslow once again could hurdle snowbanks.
This morning, this was the view outside my kitchen window. Yesterday was just a tease reality set in. Oh, but there is hope. I am hopeful in an few short months this will be the view outside my window, my lovely clematis. This is before the Japanese Beetle strike!

Friday, March 6, 2009


This is a rug that I designed in honor of my two kitties, Macy and Emma Lou. Macy our "Money" cat is no longer with us. She earned her angel wings last spring and is buried in one of our flower gardens. Macy chose us to be her forever family as she showed up in our field one day, never to be claimed. She loved to spend time outdoors and was a master "mouser". She blessed our family for 17 years. As for this rug, you can see I need to finish the binding, steam press and then find a place of honor.This design I purchased at Searsport Rug Hooking in Searsport, Maine. It is a lovely shop located on the coast. The shop is housed in an Old New England cape, each room is filled with wool, dyes, books, linen, just a rug hookers dream!

Also a pattern from Searsport Rug Hooking. I love the colors in this rug I think they blend very nicely, and if it must say so looks great on my living room wall.
As for tomorrow, DH and I are revamping our down stairs bathroom. Wish us luck and hope when the paint flies it lands on the walls and not each other!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Primitive rug hooking is one of the crafts that I enjoy. This is one of my winter projects I have finally completed. This is a Sharon Perry Design that I won on e-bay. It hooked up quite nicely, love the colors, but the binding, oh the binding, it's tedious and time consuming to hem on. Definitely not my favorite part of hooking, but tonight it is completed. Hemmed, pressed and placed on my kitchen floor. Later in the day Winslow and I headed out to one of my favorite garden nurseries "O'Donals." There I purchased tickets for the Portland Flower Show held at the Portland Company Complex off Commercial Street in Portland. The exhibition will feature 14 landscapes interpreting the theme "From Mountains To Sea". There will be displays of trees, shrubs, flowers, " forced" into early bloom as well as stone displayed in walkways and walls. Also of interest, vendors, food court, gardening seminars, educational presentations and on the last day a plant auction. The show begins opening night March 11th and runs through Sunday the 14th. My mom and I are looking forward to spending the day together enjoying the sights, sounds, and fragrance that only spring can offer "forced" or not.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


All winter long I have been thinking about how nice it would be to have a flock of chickens in my backyard. After visiting my cousin Eve (Sunny Side Up) and experiencing her flock of Guinea Fowl, I thought I can do this. Now, I love her Guineas, especially that rascal Buddy, but they were just to loud for me. Ear protection required!So, Eve sent me her issue of Hobby Farms Magazine. Very informative.
Then I purchased this book and feel in love with those cute little Bantams.

Then purchased this book, the "bible" of chicken raising. Read all the pros and cons, cons are frightening. But what the heck, if other people can do this why can't I. So, I broke the news to Winslow Homer that he may be spending time on a "run"but the upside was he'd have ten new ladies in his life. A "harem".
After spending a lot of time at Tractor Supply, Blue Seal, and Paris Farmer's Union, I signed myself up for a "chicken seminar" and officially submitted my application for 10 Bantams. My "due" date May 7th. Yipeee, let the nesting begin!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Okay, it's snowing and more coming in the middle of the night. Fifteen inches of wet, heavy snow. Enough! Thanks goodness it's Sunday, for Sunday brings NASCAR. We make home made pizza and chocolate chips cookies and settle in. Even Winslow Homer sports his Jimmie Johnson shirt #48! Go Jimmie.