Monday, November 13, 2017

I am not even kidding





The day we closed, Sunday October 29th one of the last room guests asked if I would write about the storm we were about to have  the next day. Sure what is a little rain and wind going to do.  I did go to bed prepared with a flashlight just in case. The wind started howling about 3am and about 4:30 the power went out. When I finally started moving around about 6:30 I got the email message that there wasn't any school. This is only October and we are already using the allotted snow days. My next thought was,  is my Mom's 10:30AM flight actually going to leave. The airlines said it was on time so we ventured out. I was in no way prepared for what was to happen on the ride up Rt 123 to Brunswick.  Many, many trees were down, ripped right out of the roots on to the street and lawns and some on houses. There was one spot that the trees ripped the power lines across the street. I was able to go under one of them ( I know not the safest move). The other one they closed the road for but I was able to take a detour. To make a long story short it was one bad scene after another. Listening to the radio there were Half a Million people in Maine without power. Terrence and I spent most of the day in Portland because around the Mall area they had power. I got home and wheeled out our small pull start generator that runs basically the well pump, furnace, fridge and a few outlets. By nightfall they had already called off school for Tuesday. Tuesday was Halloween and they even canceled Halloween until Friday because most of the roads were unsafe to travel. Every day we were hopeful that Harpswell would be next to get power. Sue and Victoria got it back first. Aimee, Matt, CC and myself finally got it on Saturday, 6 days later.  It took Wendy 9 days to get hers back. The Harpswell kids were 5 days, the whole week without school. It is the longest I have ever been without power.

 Aimee finally got to finish the laundry at the Inn from the day we closed . I started working on the outside gardens and digging up the dahlia bulbs.  Just as everyone was getting back in the groove and life back to normal the next storm hit. Early Friday morning November 10th the telephone poles and power lines that run along the Bailey Island Bridge fell over into the water. Needless to say Bailey Island was without power once again. The temperatures were down to 25 deg at night. After almost 2 weeks of working 24/7 Central Maine Power was hard  at work again. They could only work on the lines at low tide and for a portion of time they were working the bridge was closed in both directions. They did a fantastic job restoring power in cold, windy and less than ideal conditions. I did some more work in the gardens today and saw one pole still in the water.

We all are hoping for a less traumatic Winter but I am not so sure that is going to happen. I am already sick of losing power and we haven't even seen snow yet.

Blessings,

Alicia










Thursday, October 12, 2017

Summer in October






















I guess I must have forgotten about September because there seems to have been no blog, whoops!
I didn't really forget about it but it went by so fast. We had No Vacancy the whole month and we were busy every night at dinner. The beginning of October seems to be the same. We have had No Vacancy almost every night so far. It has been one big summer. The weather has been like summer as well. We will take days in the high 70's and some 80's in October. I am still sleeping with the windows open at night and thankfully haven't needed to turn the furnace on. The dahlia's are loving this weather, cool at night and warm during the day. I think we may have blossoms until Thanksgiving.
This Saturday the 14th the Town is celebrating Harpswell Days. I went last year and it was quite interesting. They had demonstrations on woodworking, basket weaving, butter churning ,quilting, beekeeping, knitting lobster trap heads, making herbal remedies and lots more. I especially liked the tour of the old cemetery and the Meeting House. There were some cool artifacts in the museum and we even got to press cider. This is all located on RT 123 at Harpswell Center. If you are not around this weekend you could always see the  cemetery and Meeting Hall on another visit.

Update on Cedar Beach is they had a successful season with the parking and beach monitoring done by the Town. You can access the beach as a guest of the Log Cabin. There are several parking spots before the walking path down there but your best bet is to just park at the Inn and walk down. This time of year you would have the place to yourself and no problem parking.

The season is starting to wind down. The Cribstone Grill is closed, Salt Cod CafĂ© is closed, The Alert just did their last sail. The Dolphin is open Thur-Sun but will close the same weekend we do on October 29th. Lands End is open now but I believe will go to just weekends in November and December. I am glad that the candy store is still open!  It doesn't even feel like fall yet except for the leaves changing and the sun setting sooner. We have had an amazing season so far and look forward to the next two weeks. There is still time to get in one more visit.

Blessings,

Alicia

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

End of Summer Blues




It doesn't seem possible that tomorrow, August 24th Terrence will be back at School and starting the
5th Grade.  Danny will be entering High School and Josh will be starting Middle School both on September 5th. I am not sure what happened to Summer but it didn't seem like it existed this year. The kids got out of school late, it rained all Spring and most of June. Now we have been in a drought July and August. The grass is brown and crunchy and we have spent hours every day watering.
We haven't had any really hot, hot days and now it looks like the temperatures will be in the mid to low 70's for a couple of weeks. I like that crisp Maine air that Fall brings. Howver I did not like the fact that I only got to Stovers Cove Beach one Friday this Summer. Mother Nature did not cooperate on Friday's. Speaking of Stovers Cove there was a very large fire there last week. I could see the flames up above the tree line from the lawn at the Inn. The black smoke roared for quite some time. Luckily it was an abandoned building and some of the trees as well caught on Fire. As I stated before we are very fortunate to have 3 Fire Stations in Harpswell that responded very quickly and no one was hurt.

This weekend Brunswick is hosting the Great State of Maine Air Show.Once again the  highlight  is the Blue Angels flight team. I saw two of them fly in last night. You can hear them long before you can see them! I hope to get on the water and head North on  Merriconeag Sound. The Sound brings you up almost to  the end of the runway.
I recently went to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath to see the new Lighthouse exhibit. What a fascinating exhibit it is. It is a Full scale Replica of the Cape Elizabeth Maine Light

house tower lantern room. The exhibit is the first of its kind anywhere. The Museum also is restoring the 1906 Schooner Mary E. It was built in 1906 at the sight of which is now Bath Iron Works. The Schooner has an extensive and very interesting History.

Often it can be the little things that one needs to appreciate in life and I am so excited to see one of our trees cut down. This tree was at the corner of the building just outside the bar. Now that it is down I don't have to struggle to climb over the rock wall to get to the Vegetable Garden. It also opens up the whole area and brings so much light into that corner. So much so Sue had to go out and buy more plants if you can believe that.

I hope you all have a Safe and Healthy Labor Day Weekend. Our September is very busy but we do have openings toward the end of the month and into October. We will close this year on Saturday October 28th.


Sunset the night of the Eclipse

Blessings,
Alicia

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fire Department




  The Town of Harpswell is served by an all Volunteer Fire Department. As of now we have three different Fire houses,  Orrs Island, Cundys Harbor, and Harpswell Neck. I can remember growing up the Fire Barn was near the cemetery adjacent to the Inn. When there was a fire a whistle would blow on the top of the fire barn and  the volunteers would come running. Even the fishermen would come in from lobstering and tend to the fire. The Big News is in March at our Town Meeting it was  voted on to have 2 paid full time fire fighters and the Town will have our first Fire Administrator. They will consolidate the Fire Barns to have the Main Location at the one on Orrs Island. The Fire Department has Graduated 6 new Volunteers to the Squad. We also have an on call 24hr Medic.
I am mentioning all this because I have never seen as many accidents down here as this year. Twice so far cars have flipped on the bridge ( in 36  years I never remember this happening once).  This week a car hit a pole on Orrs Island and the road was closed for a bit. So please be careful. The roads are narrow and there are a lot of pedestrians and bicyclers that we share the road with.
If you are here the Weekend of August 12&13th please join the Fire Departments biggest fundraiser, Yard Sale and Live Auction.

The Vegetable Garden is going crazy . The rain and fog paired with the humidity has given the lettuce a big growth spurt. The zucchini and summer squash are starting along with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Matt and I like the cucumbers the best. The radish's are ready and the carrots will be awhile. The kids really like to pick the carrots. The Dahlia's are getting  big and I would say by the second week in August we should have some blossoms.

Next week is the start of the Casco Bay Tuna and Small Fish Tournament. The kids ( and adults) will be out fishing for mackerel and the elusive 28" or bigger Striped Bass. We leave the Tuna to the Big Guys who have the permits. If you are on Face Book you can follow along the progress at "Casco Bay Tuna Club".

I am heading up to Seboomook Wildreness Campground this weekend. It is on a dirt road on the Northern tip of Moosehead Lake.  We are only going for 2 nights but it should be quite an adventure. I am really not the camping/tent type but peer pressure got to me and Terrence is really looking forward to it. So wish me luck !



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Holiday Weekend



Here we are entering the 4th of July Holiday Weekend. Even though it is on a Tuesday is seems like the Celebration starts on Friday and goes to Wednesday. I have been very busy in the Gardens. Many of you will understand Sue's plant buying fetish. Recently I have planted 50 Perennials and many annuals. I had Wintered over in a bag in my garage the Peacock Orchids that we planted last year. Last week I planted them in the garden by the back door and they are already sprouting, so exciting! I also planted about a Dozen Dahlia bulbs and more are on the way. Some of the Dahlia's are already about 4" tall. The Vegetable Garden is all planted and looking very good. It is almost time to put on the tomato cages. After all this planting was done it naturally hasn't rained in two weeks. We are spending many hours watering. You may remember that the granite fence along the road was taken out by the snow plow. We ended up not replacing it after a go around with the State on placement from the road. We did however put in 2 Island/ Tree Gardens with a couple white river birch trees.
Victoria has also been very busy organizing the Gardens and me.

In addition to all the planting we are currently having all three buildings and decks painted. This project was set up in April but after two months of rain they finally got to start the first of June. With a fresh coat of paint and the beautiful gardens the place is looking pretty sharp.

Many activities are lined up for the Weekend. Fireworks at Mackerel Cove on Friday the 30th. My favorite Funk Band ( Motor Booty) is playing on the Point at Cooks on Saturday night and the Fireworks will follow that. The sought after Ice Cream Social will be on the 4th at the Bailey Island Library Hall. The Casco Bay Ferry is doing their daily run from Cooks Lobster House. The Alert Schooner has been very  busy the last two weeks. They were in Boston for the Tall Ships and then headed to Portland for the Schooner Fest, where they won several races. They sailed in a Schooner Race from Portland to Bailey Island and came in second for that. Now they are off to Boothbay for Windjammer Days. Friday is also the start of Heritage Days in Bath. So many choices to make.

I look forward to next week as we welcome back an Inn full of guests  that have been coming for years,  they have all made long lasting friendships that started here.

Have a happy, safe and healthy Holiday Week.

Blessings,
Alicia

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend



  Memorial Day Weekend is approaching fast. I can hardly believe it. We have had such a rainy, cold Spring that I was thinking Summer would never find its way. We did get a peak of sunshine a couple days last week where we broke records for almost 90 deg. We have had frost warnings some nights so it still isn't safe to plant any vegetables or the Dahlia bulbs. We have had some Beautiful tulips, the ones the deer didn't get. The Magnolia Trees have been just radiant , especially our yellow one that is near the Vegetable Garden. Sue has made one of her Major trips to the Greenhouses to fill the room window boxes but we haven't even been able to plant those yet. As you know this is one of many trips. I removed several wheel barrows full of weeds from around the pool area this week. The pool is scheduled to have the Winter cover off tomorrow but with the driving rain and winds on Friday I am sure we wont have any brave souls to dive in.

Bowdoin College is Graduating this Weekend. It is their 212th Commencement Ceremony and will graduate 418 students. There will be 44 graduating from Maine and 33 International students from 20 countries. We are so lucky to have this great College in the area that gives  back so much to the surrounding Communities. Did you know that the College has based their Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island. It has 2.5 miles of Coastline with 3.6 miles of trails and a variety of habitats. It offers great views of Long Cove and Harpswell Sound. This is also the base for the College sailing team. I often see them  out on the Sound. The trails are open to the public and there is parking at the kiosks.

The Outdoor Farmers Markets are now open 3 days a week in Brunswick. I was there today and got a couple different kinds of tomato plants and some cucumber seedlings. I will have to keep these inside for a few more weeks. My tomato go to guy said don't plant the tomato's in the ground until after June 10th in Maine. I will gently take them out to get acclimated and then back in at night.

We have Cecelia (CC) and Wendy helping us out this Summer so when you come make sure you give them a Big Hello !

Have a safe and healthy Holiday Weekend.

Alicia


Rhubarb is ready !!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Drive the Speed Limit



It has been awhile since I posted, I know sorry. Here we are open again for another fabulous Season. Sue has owned the building for I believe 37 years. Most of you know it started out as a Full service Restaurant with a waiting line every day. With success brings fulfillment but it also brings exhaustion. So 21 years ago Sue, decided to turn the Restaurant into an Inn. I was working for her at that time and enjoy this so much more.

The poor soul in the jeep above found out  the hard way that speeding doesn't pay. From what I can gather he was heading North and hit the wooden barrier on the South/ West side of the bridge which caused him to roll over. He wasn't hurt but the bridge was closed for awhile as they had to tow the Jeep away. I can say this is the first time I have seen that happen. I cross that bridge at least 4 times a day and I crawl, sometimes even stop if a large truck is coming across at the same time.

The Island is starting to come alive. Victoria and I have started in the gardens on the days that the sun has come out, which still hasn't been to often. It was only 42 deg today and very windy. The crocuses are out and a few daffodils. I have seen signs of tulips, the few that the deer once again haven't eaten. The rhubarb is sprouting, the rose hedge has buds and Sue had the Dahlia Bulbs delivered. Cooks is open Wednesday-Sunday right now. Cribstone Grill and the Giant Staircase both open today, the 20th. The Candy Store and Lands End are open along with the Dolphin Marina.

Terrence and I tried out something new today at Brunswick Landing. The Navy Museum and Gardens were open and they have a Very Cool flight Simulator. Terrence got to fly a P3 Orion and a Blue Angels plane. The P3's used to land on the runway only 500ft from where we were. The same runway that the Blue Angels will be landing on during their show this Summer. They are open now on Wednesday's and Sunday's. If you are here then I highly recommend checking it out. Also starting up at the Landing is a Finish based company called Atol Aviation. They plan to produce a flying boat! They can test it out on one of the two 8,000ft runways.

Our Spring Rates are good until June 18th. Even if you can only get away for a  night or two, it is still worth the trip!

Blessings, Alicia