Thursday, October 16, 2014


A few (or more) scenes from the start of Autumn in these parts....

                    Honey Harvest

Despite one weak hive (which swarmed twice this summer and has since died) we had a good harvest.  I pulled two full supers off my older hive, and a nearly full super off the strong new hive from this spring.  Both should be in good shape going into winter.  Last year we bottled directly out of the extractor, wax chunks, dead bees and all.  This year we opted to strain it through cheese cloth into the beer brew bucket (hey, use what you've got, right).  The plan was we'd have less crystallization without the chunks.  But it backfired.  I think because the process was so slow this year, taking nearly a three days to fill the jars through the small tap, the honey was exposed to air too long.  Half of our jars have already begun to crystallize.  Oh well.  It doesn't effect the quality and it makes for some interesting looking jars.  The taste is still amazing.   

Hay (in the neighborhood)

  A visit to Lake Champlain and Burlington, VT a few weeks ago.  Such a treat to see mountains!

    Apple (and raspberry!) Picking at Hope Orchards

    Heide's Ice Cream sandwiches at the Belfast Farmers market


   Pine needle carpet in the play yard

     Mac and Cheese's last afternoon.  They had a good one.

    Not many, but a few more pears on the tree this year

Fall in the cranberry bog--it looks like no berries this year.
Its always a mystery to me.  Some years are  fantastic, others nothing.

A month ago Rob finished this little addition onto the barn.  We call it B barn (to distinguish it from A barn?  The kids came up with it.)  Its just right for housing bicycles, bee equipment, and the boat and Adele off season.  It will make Rob's job plowing much easier as he won't have to move bikes and sleds out of the way to get the tractor out.

Fall lettuce, in need of weeding (it won't happen).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Farewell to Summer

This year made it our 7th annual equinox celebration atop Mt. Batty in Camden.  We gather with a small hand full of friends to watch the last sunset of summer over the western hills and Appleton Ridge.  The photos are lovely, but do not be fooled by the sun and the T-shirt clad children, this year was the worst weather yet.  The wind was gale force and made it nearly unbearable.  When we stood up our chairs were blown over, and any stray jacket was whisked away.  We barely made it to sunset, but we did.  Another season  passed with good friends by our side.  We love this tradition.  

Below, a few shots from the first few years.  Mostly the same kids, only much smaller!

     1st year  


(4th, 5th6th years here).

Monday, October 6, 2014


Yesterday I ran my second marathon.  Two years ago I ran the same race, in the pouring rain.  This year the weather was perfect for running, and just right for my cheering squad.  Rob and the kids came down with signs, and many of the women from our running group were there participating, cheering, and pacing for the finish.  

For my first marathon I trained and raced with my sister Heide (my other sis would surely have joined us if she didn't live so far away--and if we had any hope of keeping up with her!)  Our only goal was to finish and we did that with smiles on our faces, despite the 4 hours and 17 minutes we'd spent running in a deluge and chilled to the bone.  

This year I was alone for the run, but with so many people around (marathon runners really are the friendliest group I've ever met) I wasn't lonely.  I ran half the race with a guy from Burlington, VT who was going for the same finish time as I was so we paced one another. He was good company. But the best part was having family and friends popping up where I least expected, cheering me on, or jumping into the race to "pull" me up the hill.  

This time around I had a goal in mind, and pushed myself hard.  The running was not nearly as relaxed or as enjoyable as my first race, and I spent a good part of the last 8 miles silently repeating a spectator sign I'd just read, "left, right, repeat".  It kept me going.  Then my rock star of a running friend (and 5 time marathoner herself) joined me at mile 24 and said, "this is where I'm supposed to tell you that if you want to make 4:00 you need to work".  I somehow made my legs move faster and pushed through the longest 2 miles of my life. The whole way Laura ran just ahead of me shouting to the spectators "this is my friend, she's awesome, cheer for her!"  And they did, loudly. It was pretty amazing.  I finished 3 minutes after my goal time.  But I moved as hard as I could the entire way, and took 15 minutes off my fist race, so I feel really good about the whole thing.  

About mile 16, with all the glycogen in my legs gone, and only Shotblocks and a mouth-full of tepid water every two miles to keep me going, I was sure that I would never run another marathon again. But somehow its a bit like childbirth (well, maybe if while running 26 miles someone was simultaneously stretching your most sensitive flesh to the point of tearing)  but similar in the way that by the next day my memory of it has already changed from excruciating to highly manageable, and that in a week or so I know I'll remember it as an enjoyable run.  After the race I met a man who had just finished his second marathon of the weekend, and his 124th overall.  When we congratulated him he told us of the man he'd run with who has completed 400+ marathons. I guess we all forget how much it hurts.   

But the finish, that feels pretty darn good.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

End of Summer (almost)

Our end of summer has been even busier than the rest of the season, but packed with so much fun and adventure I'm not complaining.  Though we may need a vacation from it soon!  I always think fall will be that--a settling in and resting up time, but then it begins and what do you know? We are busier than ever with homeschooling, 4-H, chorus, music lessons, etc.  Maybe we'll slow down for winter.

Anyhow, here are the few pictures I managed to take on our latest adventures:  Camping at Hermit Island with family and friends, and a women's only (dogs too) hike up Tumbledown Mountain.

More to come soon--in the next couple weeks:  Common Ground Fair, Deerfield Fair, Burlington, VT and the Portland Marathon!  Whew.  I'm tired already.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Work (mine)

 Summer work:   Harvesting, cooking, lots of weeding, some bee keeping, swarm watching (unfortunately not catching), lots and lots of running, beach days, bike rides, BBQ's, a bit of sewing, a little preserving.