Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year from Bailey Island


As you can see, my lazy labs were not very stressed about the holidays! Hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bailey Island Community


This is a very exciting weekend on Bailey Island. Cooks Restaurant had a fundraiser for the Harpswell Heating Program last night, and it was packed! They had carollers, Santa, free snacks, and a silent auction (of course, a night stay at the Log Cabin was donated). There were all sorts of locals there chatting, eating and bidding on the auction. It is the second year Cooks has done this, and hopefully will be a holiday tradition. The sense of community was overwhelming....actually brought me to tears.

Today the Bailey Island store is re-opening after months of being closed. As you can see from the picture, it is busy! A local family has purchased it, and we wish them success! It is strange how much you miss something when it is no longer there.

Speaking of purchasing something, the community has purchased the Post Office so it should stay open for the next 5 years. All of the money has not been raised, but little by little the goal is within reach. For those of you who do not know, the Post Office is right next to the General Store.

Another community event happened on Friday. The Harpswell Nursery school had their Christmas pageant. Of course I attended to see my grandson Josh sing. Well, Josh decided that the crowd was too intimidating, and sat in his Mom's lap instead. Still, watching the other 3 and 4 year olds sing Christmas songs was fun as their families looked on. Josh, however, was not shy when it was time to get in the lunch line! He was first........takes after his Dad with the appetite!

The weather sure did take a turn....my flowers I was picking in early December are long gone. After a brief trip to Key West, I flew home to Maine on Wednesday. It was record heat in Key West, and record cold here in Maine. I woke up to 85 degrees and 98% humidity and returned home to 13 degrees!! Try to dress for that trip!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Holiday.......looks like the big storm may put a damper on travel.

All for now........Sue

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stormy Day



Well, we had some wild weather this week!!! Record high temperature of 68 degrees one day, then massive rain and wind on the next. My 3 year old grandson suggested we go to Lands End to see the surf (that is the picture from there). It was so windy you could barely stand. The sun came out and it was quite spectacular. As Josh said, "Mimi, it is like a hurricane with no rain!"

Then we got snow this weekend.....only in Maine. The winter colors are very vivid....the white now makes the ocean look even more blue. Now, it feels like the holiday season. As you can see from the other picture, Matt helped Alicia with her tree.

We went to Cooks Lobster House on Sunday moring for their new brunch. They are serving from 10am-2pm. It is a very large buffet with everything from eggs to shrimp!

Lots of phone calls and reservations this week. I need a secretary to help me keep up!

All of you were right on the last poll....the Original Log Cabin Restaurant opened March 13, 1980. All for now! Sue

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Holiday Season to All!



I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving....we sure did. I am still full 5 days later. The weather continues to stay mild. This is good as my sons, Matt and Adam are starting some work on the outside of the Log Cabin. If you check out the poll question you will see that it is a bit old. And an "old" building made out of wood on the top of Bailey Island gets pelted by the weather.

Speaking of "old", most of you were correct, Matt turned 39 yesterday. He made it through hunting season without getting a deer. He claims to have seen some and even shot at some, but I think that is like the fish that got away story......

Sunsets remain gorgeous....actually I think they may even be more vivid in the winter. Why is that? I will have to google that question and find out an answer. Actually, this sunset picture is a bit blurry.....looks more like a water color, but you can appreciate the color--maybe the camera was cold.

I just hung up from taking a 4 night reservation for next August for a honeymoon from a very nice military gentelman. We all appreciate what the military does---even as the last squadron left Brunswick Naval Air Station this week. We will miss our military friends, and hope to see them all in the future.

All for now, Sue

Monday, November 23, 2009

November gardens



Hard to believe it is Thanksgiving week and the gardens are still gorgeous. I will pick a large bouquet for our dinner table. The weather really has been exceptional this fall.....as opposed to the rainy spring we had.

That is one thing to be thankful for....

(For those of you blog followers, this is Sue, not Alicia---who, by the way likes gin and tonics.)

Here are many of the things we are thankful for....

Living on Bailey Island
The privilege of working at the Log Cabin
All of our wonderful Inn guests
Fresh lobster
The great Log Cabin crew
Good health
Bountiful meals
The ability to help those in need
Family and friends
Sunsets
Holidays
That we are already 23% full for 2010!


Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

All for now, Sue

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Community Rallies


The Bailey Island Community Rallied and saved the Post Office for at least another 5 years. To date $100,000 has been raised, three people gave very generous donations of $10,000. Still another $100,000 is needed for the total purchase price. As of now the property is scheduled to be closed on by the end of November. The Post Office will renew the lease for another 5 years and pay $6,000 in rental fees. Not a money making project by any means but it saves a central spot in the community. Also the General Store is set to open at the New Year.

DownEast Magazine has featured Topsham as a great Town with a facelift. With the addition of the bypass the traffic has freed up and people don't dread driving Maine Street. The Mill area along the river has been restored and hosts the SeaDog Brewing Company which has a great Sunday Brunch. There is also the Barn Door Cafe which serves great baked goods and lunches. I like to visit the Mall area and go to Target and Dicks Sporting Goods. Another great stop is the Catahance River Education Alliance (CREA) which is located at Highland Green. CREA has some great trails and supports education for the local schools. This is also the location of a 9 hole Public Golf Course which winds through the Nature Preserve. Bring some extra golf balls it is a pretty tight course, definatly Golf Cart recommended. Highland Green covers 800 acres and has 960 residences. This makes Topsham one of New Englands top Retirement Communitys. Just a note DownEast Magazine makes a great Christmas Gift, you can also plan all of your activities by their suggestions. www.Downeaast.com

An update on the VinalHaven(Fox Island) Wind Project.The 123ft Turbines are up and running and the Town Folk couldn't be happier. Traffic was backed up while one of the trucks with the turbines got stuck so the North Bound traffic got out of their cars and switched cars with the Southbound traffic and then caught up with their cars later in the day, only in Maine. I congratulate the residents of Vinalhaven because in Harpswell they voted down the study to put up the turbines.

Well I didn't think it would happen but most of you got the poll wrong last week. The Cribstone Bridge is scheduled to open in September 2010 most of you said April 2011. They are actually slightly ahead of schedule so maybe September it is.

Thank You, Brandon for sending the very happy photo above of your engagement here at the Log Cabin. He did a great job surprising his finace and oh how romatic. They are getting married next August and maybe will Honeymoon at the Log Cabin.

Most importantly today is my son, Terrence's 3rd Birthday. So Happy Birthday T,we came to Florida for a little celebration.

Alicia

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Closing Day






The place is all locked up and just about put away. Seems like there is no end to the laundry. I think Aimee has it just about under control. One of the photo's above is the guys on the roof covering the exhaust fan. One of Sue actually, for real digging up the Dahlia Bulbs. The other one is of one of the last sunny days we were open. Today the snow was fluttering down at a rapid rate and then it turned to rain.

The Grand Prize Winner of the Nursery School Raffle was our very own room guests Matt and Roberta. They won a nights stay at the Log Cabin and lucky them have already booked their room. Second Prize was won by one of the teachers and third prize was won by a student so it was great that we knew everyone involved.

I have been following up a little on the cranberry harvest in Maine after a guest inquiry. There are 40 growers across the State. It has made quite a comeback since 1990 when farmers were trying to diversify their crops. Cranberries are genetically similar to blueberries and like the same acidic soil and cool temperatures. Maine's acreage has steadily increased from 40 acres in 1997 to nearly 300 acres today which actually doesn't seem like much.The cranberries are grown in man made bogs separated by dams. The vines grow on moist ground not in standing water. The berries are harvested by machines that look like snowblowers. Then they have a wet harvest, the bogs are flooded with water and a harvesting machine gently beats the remaining cranberries from the vines. It is a challenge in Maine, it takes 3-5 years for plants to start bearing fruit. So think of the juicy cranberry and not just the blueberry when visiting Maine.


Continuing to praise Maine's Lobster Industry I started cooking,picking and freezing lobster for Christmas Dinner. This week I got 20lbs and the price off the boat is still under $3.00. It is hard to believe at this time of year when it is 30 deg out, the snow is flying and you can still buy lobster cheaper than hotdogs per pound. I will get about another 30lbs before I am finished. I wont find those prices or the great taste in Florida.

Not surprising because I am sure he has mentioned it before Matt was Hunting last Saturday. It was the opening of hunting season in Maine, something Matt wouldn't miss. I bought a new freezer this year so I am already for some Venison. A Whopping 84% of the people were right on this poll. I think the most correct so far.

I just wanted to say yes Tony and Linda I do know that the Yankees won the World Series, Yuck!!

Have a great week everyone and if you have a favorite room you should book it before someone else does.

Alicia

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween




Happy Halloween and the dreaded Closing Day. Every year it seems like we say "Where did that season go". Today is about 63deg but very windy and lots of white caps on the water. We will cherish the daylight today before we change the clocks back tonight. I actually like the extra hr of sleep and dark morning. It was right up to the wire but this October occupancy came in just ahead of last year. We were full last night and 1 room open as of now for tonight but I am sure it will fill. We have also rented 390 rooms for next year, over 20% full already.

This week I went to Scarlett Begonia's Restaurant that opened up at the new Train Station on Maine St. in Brunswick. Bowdoin College has a bookstore in there now that it open to the public. An Irish Pub is scheduled to move in shortly as well. The Parking is ample and it is much easier to access than the old train station. So check it out next time you are in Town.

Most of the leaves have fallen, esp in today's wind and the Fall Cruise Ship Season is over. The final Cruise Ship was in Portland this week with 600 passengers. There were 48 Cruise Ships that visited Portland this year with over 70,000 passengers. Portland has already booked 69 Ships for next Season. With all these people you would think I wouldn't still be writing about the horrible Lobster Season. We had another Lobster War this week in Tenants Harbor. They were fighting over cut traps and one guy pulled out a shotgun. So not only do they not make any money at this job, you can also get killed.

Just to keep in mind for next year. Cooks Lobster House is also now operating as a mercantile and selling everything from milk,fish, produce to chocolate chips and capers. You can even call you order in and they will have it ready for you. The prices are very reasonable as well.

We had some former room guests and now seasonal residents come up today to bring the boys some great Halloween gifts, and not candy. Thanks Eric and Deb and keep in touch. Thank you to the Lewis' for our scary cookies. I didn't cook much today because I was busy cleaning but I did make us Chicken Club Sand with pasta salad for lunch and a mac and cheese with Canadian bacon for the cleanup Dinner.
Laura is so graciously working for me tonight so Terrence and I can go Trick or Treating. I will post some pictures of everyone minus Josh who has the Flu.

An update I am picking up on my way home tonight the last flight of the Flamingo's. The flamingo's raised over $2,500 for the children's swim program and I thank all involved. Last week 71% of the people were right ( the most that has voted so far) Sue is going to (remains to be seen) dig up the Dahlia's Bulbs this year but that is not the case every year.
Sue and I are going to share the blog over the Winter. You may be reading about cold, snowy Maine or warm, sunny Key Largo, Florida. Either way we wish everyone a healthy Winter until we meet again.

Alicia

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Celiac Disease





Today is rainy,windy and all around, Yuck. It is also the start of the last week we are opened. We stayed pretty busy all last week but still have some rooms open for this coming week and weekend.

You all know that we go out of our way to cater to any food allergies guest may have. This Season I have seen an unbelievable amount of people that have Celiac Disease and need to eat Gluten Free. This would be one thing if the Dr. told me I needed to do I may just say shoot me now because I am not giving up pasta and bread. After researching this Summer I did find out that so many stores and Restaurants are aware of the need to be Gluten Free that they really have amended their inventory. Just this week a guest told me that Cooks Lobster House has a Gluten Free Menu and I know the Great Impasta in Brunswick does as well. I went shopping at "Wildflower" a Gluten Free Store that opened in Brunswick this year. I was quite surprised and delighted to see everything they carried, from pizza crusts to donuts, cookies, pasta, etc. So now I am thinking this is something I could try and see if it would help me sleep any better. If you have any food requests let us know. Like tonight I am making Filet Mignon with Crabmeat Bernaise Sauce again because Doreen missed it last time.

Now on to another wierd food item...There is a company called Ocean Approved that is starting the first Kelp Farm in the Untied States right here in Casco Bay. They are just planting the seedlings now and say by Spring the plants will be 6-8ft long. If all goes according to plan the kelp will then be turned into noodles,kelp salad and kelp slaw. They have a big following with places that serve Asian Style Food, esp seaweed salads. Believe it or not kelp is a $7 Billion a year industry World Wide. Not that I am going to be putting Kelp on the menu right away but I am sure you may start seeing it in some Maine Restaurants.

I was busy in the Kitchen, that seems to happen when it is raining out. I made a carrot cake with carrots from the Farmers Market, Spiced Apple Crisp from hand picked apples, Zucchini Bread from the neighbors garden and Blue Cheese Burgers for my, Sue and Laura's lunch.

My Mom took the kids to an interesting place in Lisbon Falls. Bear with me on this one. It is called the Maine Glass Art Studio- Butterfly and Insect Museum. It is located in Lisbon Falls about 35 min from the Inn. It is in an old Church and they have a Beautiful Gift Shop obviously for the parents. The kids talked all night about the glow in the dark spiders and beautiful (live and dead) butterflies. My Mom must have been impressed as she went back again this week with one of her girlfriends. www. maineartglass.com

I typically do not like to give the poll question as something you folks can look up on the Internet but I did like the question. At first I posted the question with none of the answers as the right one. The largest rotating Globe is at the Delorme Map Company in Yarmouth, Maine. The best record so far 75% got it right. You can see it from Rt 295 as you pass by Yarmouth into Freeport. It is even lit at night. Next Saturday will be the last blog I write from the Inn but do not worry it will not be the last blog. The photo above you should recognize as Mackerel Cove right here on Bailey Island.

Alicia

Monday, October 19, 2009

Save Bailey Island Post Office



This is one of my Special Editions.

The Community is trying to raise $200,000 to buy The Bailey Island Post Office. The building is For Sale and the current owner is not renewing the lease with the Post Office. A LLC is being formed and patrons of the Post Office are currently raising money. Anyone who donates $1,000 or more will become an owner. Anyone who donates less will become a "donor". This is not a tax deductible donation, but rather an attempt to Save part of our Community. If you would like to participate you can write a check to "Save the Bailey Island Post Office" and mail it to the same name at 16 Oceanside Road, Bailey Island,ME 04003. Any and all donations would be appreciated.

Thank You
Alicia

Saturday, October 17, 2009

End of the Season




I am trying to deny that the end of the season is near and we close in 2 weeks but since we did our Christmas Photo this week and the leaves are falling off the trees I guess it is (sadly) time.

This week Terrence and I went on the Cliff Trail behind the Harpswell Town Hall. Our intent was to get to the section that has the "Fairy Houses". This is a great time of year to do the trail because there are not any bugs and we are not sweating. Also it is just before Hunting Season. The Fairy Houses are built with only using the materials which are true to the land and not fabricated. I posted a picture of a Fairy House that our recent guest Melissa Jean made. The Cliff Trail has 2 such Fairy House Villages. There is also a great Fairy House Village at the Boothbay Botanical Gardens.

I found it interesting that we had a single older lady call this week (first timer) to make a reservation and wanted to know if this is a safe place. I actually can not think of a safer place. So I looked up and found that Maine has the lowest violent crime rate and the lowest incarceration rate in the nation. She was very happy when she got here and as it was never locked her door.

Going Green has made me aware of other areas of the State that are trying to do their part. On Kibby Mountain they just installed and put on line 22 Wind Turbines this week, with 22 more to come within the year. This will provide 50,000 homes with energy for the year. Maine was also granted by the Federal Government $8 million for the University of Maine to design and build 3 offshore wind turbine prototypes. Maine's cutting edge composites program is going to develop a lighter and more manageable equipment. Maine was also granted an additional $5 million for a composites floating wind turbine platform in the Gulf of Maine.This could create more than 17,000 jobs in the renewable energy field in the next 20 years. You watch Maine will be a national leader in the quest to become energy independent.

On to my lobster harping. Linda Bean granddaughter of famous LL Bean has bought the Java Net Cafe in Portland and plans to operate a restaurant there by November. Linda has bought several seafood business, and controls all levels of the process from the catch, to the production of the lobster rolls that she sells at stands and from a "lobstermobile" that visited the agricultural fairs this Fall. So if you are in Freeport or Portland stop buy for a lobster roll that you know is Maine caught.

We had our very good guests Bob and Joyce stay with us this week. They got Married right here in the Dining Room and are celebrating their 1 year Anniversary. Bob also brought us all Honey from his own bees.

I must say it has been an unusually cold this week, the wind just didn't stop. We have had the Fireplace going almost every day. The leaves are falling from the trees at an alarming rate. I am not looking forward to tomorrow when I participate in the Breast Cancer Walk and it is scheduled to pour rain. Seems like all my big events lately end in rain. As you can see I have linked our Facebook Page to the blog so become a Fan and get some more updates. I am hoping by next week I will be able to get the video I made on here as well.

I am still having the $25 gift certificate Dinner special from now til OCt 31st. We have also started our 20% off Gift Shop Sale. So just think with all this savings you can squeeze in 1 more trip to Maine. I almost forgot the answer to last weeks question was a tie. Half of you said we served Green Mountain Coffee in the Dining Room and half said Folgers, it is Folgers.

Alicia

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birthday Girl





I guess Sue was OK with my end of the month room special because I am still here. What was even funnier was last Monday ( her birthday) I served Champagne to everyone while she was cooking Breakfast and did not tell her. Finally when she was done cooking I told her, and she did not believe it.... had to come out in the dining room to see everyone sipping Champagne to believe me. So then we each had a glass.

The foliage is taking place in Grand Shape. Now is peak foliage in the lakes and mountains of Western Maine,esp Mt. Katadin. We should be looking at peak in about a week which is coincidentally when my room special is.

Front Street in Bath was just named one of the Country's Top 10 Downtown Stretches.The waterfront area boasts galleries, food shops, an awesome cooking store,jewlry stores, Discount Clothing Store, Restaurants, and not to far away from the Maine Maritime Museum. Bath is only 1/2hr. North of us on Rt 1.

Don't think I have forgotten about promoting the lobster industry. The price is still low and will be for the rest of this year. This Sunday at Gilmore's Seafood in Bath you can buy a single lobster for $5 live or cooked. Next Saturday you can do the same at Five Islands Lobster Company, they even have free coffee and baked goods. This is also peak season for lobstering in Maine.

I am not cooking to much today beacuse Sue and I are on a Diet this week. I did make some spiced apple crisp. Tonight for Dinner I am making the Filet Mignon with a Crabmeat Bernaise Sauce. It must sound good to everyone because I am making 8 of them already for Dinner.

The answer to what was our most popular room this season is the Wiseman Room so 53% of you were correct. The fact that amazed us was that Merriconeag was the second most popular. If you don't see me posting next week it is because Sue has killed me for posting the picture of her plunging toilets in her Birthday Hat!!

Happy Columbus Day if you are off. Alicia

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We will miss you September




I have to say this September seems to have set a record for the nicest weather. We didn't shut off the heat in the pool to the very last week. We also had our 2nd busiest September at the Inn, we were 96% full.This is a 6% increase from last year. We already have 90 room nights booked for September 2010. We had some lucky guests last Monday when Sue made a special Lobster Eggs Benedict for my Anniversary. Speaking of which the Red Sox game was rained out, in the 7 inning ( we had seats under cover) it was just as well because they were losing. It was fun though and we stayed at a great place called the Samuel Sewall House only a short walk to Fenway.

The City of Portland had a maiden visit this week from the Cruise Ship Queen Victoria. This Ship is one of 8 scheduled to be in Portland this week. The Victoria holds 2,000 passengers. It is on a 24 day Cruise starting in SouthHampton and next port of call Bar Harbor. The Fall Foliage Cruise Schedule is a Big Boom to the Maine Tourist Industry.
Quite a few of us including Room Guests went to the Cumberland Fair this week. Cumberland is about 40 min South from here. They have your typically Fair Food, which is Matt's first stop. The real first stop is the 800lb or so pumpkins. They have every animal you can imagine. They even have a child vs pig scramble. The highlight for the kids is the rides. You can easily spend the good portion of a day there, it was dark when we left. This week is the start of the Fryeburg Fair which is the "King" of the Maine Fairs and the last one of the season. It takes almost 2 hrs to get there, it is on the Western Maine/ NH Border.

Today I am making Chicken Pot Pie for Sue's Birthday Luncheon tomorrow. She informed us we were having a party for her, and which one of us was going to make her a cake. I also made Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with the last of the Chocolate from the Hallis', Zucchini Bread, Applesauce, and shortly will head into the Kitchen to prepare the Swordfish. An update on the Traveling/ Swimming Flamingo's. Thanks to a recent guest donation the event has now raised $2,300.
Our cell phone tower is up and lit and we even may have service within 2 weeks. Some more exciting news is that a local couple has bought the Bailey Island Store once again and I see people working on it so maybe that will be open by the end of the year. I am on crusade to help save the Bailey Island Post Office which may be on the next closer list. If you could all just google Bailey Island Post Office and then sign the petion to keep it open, every signature will help. You do not need to be a resident.
My first day off this week I spent in the rain at the Red Sox Game and my 2nd day off I spent in the pouring rain at the Golf Tournament. It was nasty,windy,cold and wet. It all paid off though, I got an Eagle on the #1 Handicap Hole and won a prize. My husband also won closest to the pin and out of the 28 groups we came in 2nd, 8 under par. I will be glad when the sun comes back out.
Speaking of Sun 66 % of you were right guessing that I am in Key Largo for the Winter. It was a little tricky because Sue has a house in Key West. Good Luck this week even Sue and I had to do a little research on the Poll.
Happy Birthday to my Best Friend Sue October 5th. Of course you all know she is 59.
I am giving a Birthday Special ( which is even a surprise to Sue) Anyone who books a room any day the last 2 weeks of October and mentions my blog will get a $25 gift certificate for Dinner.

Alicia

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So Busy




This week was just so busy I don't know where to start. First of all the Beautiful September weather is still with us and who can believe that Thursday is October already. I think Matt is just turning off the heat in the pool, but the cover is still on so the adventurous can still jump in. Apple season is upon us and Terrence and I went Apple Picking this week at Rocky Ridge in Bowdoinham which is only about 35 min from the Inn. You can pick pumpkins along with apples and we went on a great horse and wagon ride. They also have a country store with the best homemade donuts. On another Staycation Trip Sue and I took the boys to the Childrens Museum in Portland which is located right next to the Art Museum. The kids had a ball, they were so excited about everything. I would definitely recommend this to any guests coming with kids.

Now a little about the guests.. We have one guest so committed to our "Going Green" campaign that for the 2 weeks he is here he keeps a compost bin in the kitchen of his room. Way to go Lee.. We had some first time guests who stayed 5 nights and because of a fault of ours we overbooked the first night and we put them up elsewhere. They just Loved everything about the Inn when they got here that when they got home they sent a Thank You note. I would guess we are the only place that gets a Thank You after overbooking. Thank You to Mr. Keleher for sending me FEDEX 3 boxes of Tour Golf Balls. I am playing in a Tournament next weekend and I will be sure to use them. Of course to the Hallis' for giving us all Mums and early Halloween Candy. I have hidden mine in a secret place at home. They were also so kind to get all the boys gifts and even my nieces. They are pretty committed, they even went to watch the kids swimming lessons at Bowdoin College. To the best Boss Sue for giving us a special September Bonus.

Just to give you all a heads up for next season, the Bluefin Room and Harpswell Room are now booked for the entire month of September, Yahoo!!! We still have some rooms left the week before we close. If you book then I just may share some of my candy with you. Now I am heading to the Kitchen. I am making Caramel Apple Ice Cream, Cream of Broccoli Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, Pan Fired Seafood Cakes, and of course our lunch.

Hey all you Red Sox Fans Monday I am heading to Fenway and Boston overnight for my Anniversary. Sitting behind home plate, beat the BlueJays. To you Yankee Fans we don't care. Next weekend I am off Saturday and working Sunday so don't look for the blog til Sunday. Matt and Aimee's dog's name is Daisy. So 66% of you were right.
Have a great week. Alicia

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Special Edition




I know this isn't my normal blog day but I thought this was worthy of a special mention. While things look all fun and games behind the scene at the Log Cabin truly we do have our problems. While Sue and I were taking the boys to the Childrens Museum Aimee and Laura where back dealing with Plumbing Problems.

Laura noticed a leak in the back entry near the ice machine. Aimee was on the phone calling Matt as Laura was moving a pipe around. Next thing you know the pipe split and made its best attempt at Niagra Falls while Laura was getting scalded with the Hot Water. Aimee proceeded to hang up on Matt and doing what any good friend would do ran to the office,and got the camera so I would have some information for the Blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

DownEaster



September is still treating us nicely with sunny skies and fairly warm weather. The kids were swimming in the pool this week and we even had some brave guests venture in the pool one night. We are still heating it and it looks very inviting but very cold when you come out. The rooms are full now til next Friday where we only have 1 opening. We still have some vacancies the last few weeks in October so catch us before we close. The room bookings for next year are up to 259 already. We would like to give a special Thank You to Mrs. Conover for changing her reservation so the Jones could celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary here as they do every year.

Staycation wise Terrence and I took the "DownEaster" train from Portland to Wells, Maine. My husband then picked us up and we went for a boat ride in Kennebunkport. This train does go into Boston and would bring you back the same day. There were a lot of people on it headed to the Red Sox Game. You could even leave your car in Portland and stay the night in Boston and then come back and visit us. The seats were very comfortable and big windows so Terrence could stand and look out. They do have a First and Business Class as well as a Dining Car with a full bar.

To continue to promote our lobsters I found a new company called "Calendar Island Lobster Co." and "Catch a Piece of Maine". At Catch a Piece of Maine you can buy a lobster trap for $3,000 and receive enough lobsters out of your trap for about 13 lobster bakes a year. The also ship with it clams, mussels,dessert and a lobster bib. You also get a note from the lobsterman tending the trap and a map detailing were the lobsters were caught and a DVD about lobstering.

I had a special request for Dinner tonight so I am making 3lb Baked Stuffed Lobsters. I hope I can get them both in the pot. Followed by Homemade Strawberry Shortcake. I have a feeling they will be looking for Lobster eggs in the morning. Emily also came home for the weekend so I made SouthWest Shepherds Pie with a Sweet Potato topping. Then I have to make crab muffins and some brownies.

Another update Sue's Best Friend ( not me) that she wrote about in her blog just became engaged to her High School Sweetheart among the Fjords while on an Alaskan Cruise. Yeah for Deb and Ray !!

They have started pouring concrete on the South Side of the Bailey Island Bridge. Looks like it will take awhile, they had more guys there this week than all Summer. I am sure they want to get that done before first frost.
Only a few missed the Poll from last week. What was the last room Sue lived in, 88% guessed Harpswell Room and they were right. Shortly after Sue moved out it became our 9th room.
Happy Holidays to all our Jewish Friends and everyone else enjoy the week.

Alicia

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Clear Skies




September is certainly a beautiful month in Maine. The air is so clear at sunset you can see Mt. Washington in NH over the tree line. Hundreds of stars could be seen in the sky and on Wed at 8:10pm this week you could see the Space Shuttle zipping through the sky. I would have not believed it if I wasn't looking right at it. I have seen alot of night shuttle launches in Florida but to think you could see the same thing in the sky in Harpswell Maine is amazing. Speaking of something high in the sky we are getting our cell phone tower by the end of the month. It may not sound like a big thing but if you lived here with no reception you would appreciate it.

In keeping with our Staycation, Sue and I took the boys to Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick this week. The venue hosts a big campground and outdoor concerts. The beach is tidal so if you pick it right there is a good bit of sand. There is also a lot of hermit crabs which enticed the boys along with the playground. In the Summer they also have a snack house. I also took Terrence to the bike path in Brunswick which runs from Cooks Corner to Downtown Brunswick along the river. It is a nice 5 mile walk or ride round trip.

Cudo's to Bon Appetit Magazine for recognizing Portland, Maine as the top place for small town Food in America. Well worth checking out the great 4 page article. Of course featuring lobster. Speaking of Lobster...Portland Shellfish Co. now has their lobster meat in over 22 BJ"s locations in New England.One of our new room guests were so excited this week when they went to the Fish Market got 4 lobsters (cooked), a quart of chowder,french fries, and potato salad all for under $30. They brought the meal back to the Inn and ate on their deck at sunset, priceless. I was also impressed that another first time guest told me they booked here because they looked at my blog and knew they had to come see the flowers.Sue even found out one of her long lost boyfriends was reading the blog.

Before you know it we will be closed for the season, only about 6 more weeks. It has been a great season and we already have 219 rooms booked for next year. If you have your favorite room and haven't booked yet don't wait! I am also very impressed with the 69% who knew that Matt's favorite pie is Strawberry Rhubarb. I think he is done eating that for the season. I did make the girls roasted goat cheese and tomato sandwich today. Then I made seafood and vegetable lasagna. The neighbor came over with about a 8lb zucchini so I made bread and shredded the rest for more bread. He also came with some fresh peaches before the racoon's finished them off.
A Thank You to Tony and Linda who brought sweatshirts for the boys from the FBI.It is great because by the time Danny and Josh are done with theirs Terrence ends up with 3.

Have a great week all.
Alicia

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend




Wow.. can't believe I am saying it is Labor Day Weekend. The unofficial short Summer we had is over. You can't tell by the weather. This week has been beautiful and the upcoming should be just the same. We are saying goodbye to August with thrilling news, we were 100% full for the month. September seems to be starting out spectacular, 88% full so far and we are only on day 5. Now I have to start recruiting for October.

I am suggesting a trip that Terrence and I took this week. You can drive to Rockland and then take the ferry to Vinalhaven. It was such a great boat trip dodging in and out of all the islands heading into Vinalhaven Harbor. We had lunch there and got to view the wind turbine that was delivered by barge in pieces. The last piece was to arrive on Friday. We also we to the Giant Staircase this week, they have done such a great job on trail, once you park it is a short walk. Aimee and I took the boys to Cedar Beach just across the street from the Inn. I haven't been there in 15 years, the water is still freezing, we had to come back to the Inn pool to warm up. This week seems to be my idea of a "Staycation".

This weekend is Windjammer Days in Camden. It is quite a sight to see all the Schooners in the Harbor and they offer free tours. Start thinking about this for next years vacation. Next weekend is Open Lighthouse Day in Maine. There is even a Lighthouse in Kennebunkport that serves Dinner for 2. I can't imagine being the waitress going up all those stairs. Just a few updates; the Bailey Island Bridge is on schedule despite the rain of June and July. They also had to raise the grade on the North end so it has taken a little bit more time. There were more stones that needed repair that expected ( of course). They are going to be pouring concrete in the next month or two and expect to have the renovated bridge open by next September. The bridge has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975 and deemed as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1984. It is worth staying here just to drive over this bridge! My other update is on the Flamingo's. The Swim Program raised over $1,800 so far and it has enabled the Program to expanded from 6 weeks per child to 8 weeks. I expect by September they will be done flying and heading South.

Today I made Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie with Farmers Market Strawberries. Then Caramel, Apple Breading Pudding and tonight I am getting ready for a Marinated and Grilled Swordfish. A special thanks to Blair and Elaine for my Jumbo Whoopie Pie.
I almost forget... the answer to last weeks trivia: How many years does it take a lobster to reach maturity in Maine is 7. Quite interesting 50% said 5 years and 50% said 7 years, so no winner. Does everyone recongize Mt. Washington in my sunset photo, you can get a better view if you click on the photo. I am sure you all recognize Matt in the photo but his brother Adam is beside him building a dock at Sue's house.

Have a great Holiday Weekend. Alicia

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GoodBye Emily




It is hard to believe this is the last week of August. We must say Good Bye to Emily, she is back to her Senior Year in College. We hope that she comes back to us full time next Summer.I did not have to make the girls lunch today because we celebrated Emily's last day with TakeOut and even her Mom came. The kids here start school on Monday. Danny in First Grade, Josh in Nursery School and Terrence 1 day a week at Time for Two's.

We had some unbelievable Storm Surge from Hurricane Bill on Sunday. There was more traffic at Lands End than I have seen in a long time watching the surf. More than 12 people got swept away by a Rogue Wave at Acadia National Park when they were to close to the edge and a poor 7 year old girl died. If it wasn't bad enough for the Lobstermen they continued to lose traps from the storm. One fisherman in Penobscot Bay lost 120 traps. Now it looks like Saturday we will have a little rain from Tropical Storm Danny.

Sue just told me that another Yacht went by the window headed for Cooks. This one is about 80ft and has a Blue Hull. She will be happy to know that I was working and therefore did not get a photo. What I do have is a photo (above) of a gift from the O'Hara's one for each of us. I thought the Santa Claus Suit was the strangest gift of the year but this ranks right up there. I am going to read off the label from the spoon because even I can't give it a good description. "Pennsylvania Dutch Bean Spoon" Directions: Place Spoon in pot while cooking any kind of beans. Do not remove Spoon,it will help take the gas out of the beans. The little farts will climb the ladder and jump over the side. OKKKK so I am not making this up. The Newcombs brought us some Homemade Chocolate Sauce and I just may stir it up with my new wooden spoon.

This week we have been very busy in the Dining Room,lots of people eating and that is what we like. I picked some lettuce, cherry tomato's,rosemary,cucumbers and parsley for Dinner tonight. Speaking of Dinner I am making a pistachio crusted Wild Salmon.

The answer to last weeks poll is Massachusetts which 46% of you guessed right. The next most popular State is NH and then NY. Speaking of MA rest in peace Ted Kennedy.
Our schedule is changing now so I will have to do my blogs on Saturday. Just in case I really have any followers start looking for me on Saturday's.

Alicia

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dahlia's





I realize the Men are saying what's with the Flowers bring back the Yachts. The flowers are such a trademark of the Inn I figured they deserved some credit. The Large Yellow Flower is a Dahlia which is a tuber. They are dug up in the Fall and stored in a dry cool place and we replant them again toward the end of May. Once the blossoms are cut the flower will re bloom and we have some awesome dahlia's til first frost. I Love these so much that I had Sue grow all Dahlia's for our Wedding 7 years ago. No these tubers are not 7 years old...Sue doesn't have that much patience. The other small vase Sue gave me many years ago for a Birthday present and I make her refill it each week with new flowers. Even though she didn't mention me as a great friend in her blog we are.

I am still complaining about the low price of lobsters and urge everyone to eat Maine Lobster. This week the Chef at Bowdoin College hosted a special Lobster Luncheon to help out. In addition to the luncheon they were also selling live or steamed lobsters to go for $5 a piece. They sold over 250 at this special.
This Saturday night is a Shore Dinner Fundraiser for the Fishing Families of Harpswell. This is their main fundraiser to benefit the Harpswell Community Scholarship Fund. Last year they awarded $7,500 to local students. Of course this is another thing I am making desserts for. On Sunday we also have the Old Fashioned Picnic at the Orrs-Bailey Island Yacht Club. All proceeds will benefit the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention.

The heat of Summer has finally arrived. The past few days we have seen temps toward the 90's. Even with our sea breeze it has been Hot. Just imagine how many extra pool towels we have to wash. I think we may get a break this weekend. With the 90 deg temps I was in the kitchen today making the girls Eggplant Parm with prosciutto and leeks, accompanied by an avocado and onion salad with fresh lettuce from the garden.

Congrats to all who guessed Sue's age right, 65% voted on 59. She will be 59 in October and she is very happy at the 20% who voted for 29. We still have some openings the first week in September so come for a quick getaway and have some homemade ice cream.

Alicia

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Windjammers and Yachts





Wow what a Summer for Yachts and Windjammers on Merriconeag Sound. I can't recall a Summer that we have seen so many Big Yachts anchoring in Stovers Cove. As many of you know this interests me because I spent about 13 years crewing on a Yacht as Chef and first mate with my husband. My husband, Jon actually is still a Yacht Captain on an 80ft boat based out of Kennebunkport in the Summer and Key Largo in the Winter. That is why Terrence and I have a nice Winter vacation in Florida. I wasn't quick enough to get a closer photo of the Yacht above but I would guess it is about 130ft and it is 3 stories high. Earlier in the week we had a 180ft Yacht anchored at Stovers Cove owned by a banker from Scotland. I know just the 130ft boat would easily cost $20 million. The fuel alone and crew expense is unbelievable.
Maine has some wonderful Schooner Trips that leave form the Rockland/ Camden area and do the Penobscot Bay Region. This area is a must see if you dare venture away from Bailey Island.

On the Inn front I got an interesting call from one of the room guests at 7:30am that they did not have any Hot water. I went over to check the tank and yup it was burst and spilling water all over the ground. So Thank You to the 3 rooms that bared with us while we replaced the water tank. Also we got a brand new bed in the Casco Bay Room so come try that out. Matt was fasting for about 1 hr today in preparation for the Topsham Fair and all that Carnival Food. He said he goes to take the kids on the rides but I know the real reason is the Sausage Sub and Fried Dough. Speaking of Food I made Sue and Emily a Summer Squash Casserole for lunch today with Shrimp and Artichoke Quesadia. Sue will be some sorry when we change the schedule in the Fall and we are not on the same shift.

Thank you to the Hanson's for our awesome Lake Champlain Chocolates as I am literally eating the last one. Also the Lemonicks for the great Chocolate covered Blueberry's from LL Bean. You see a Chocolate theme going on here.

One last note Congratulations to all of you who took part in my pole last week. Only 50% got it right. We have been an Inn 14 years!!! Sue is going to kill me with this weeks poll.

All the best Alicia

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Camera





I have been bugging Sue for awhile now that we needed a camera at the Inn. Every time something funny happens that I want to show on my blog no one has a camera here. Last week Matt had the Gator Tractor with the BushHog trimmer on the back and he was trimming the hedges on the waterside of the lawn. Next thing you know he is inside looking for a tow rope. The bushhog was down over the embankment and the Gator was stuck. Matt was able to back the truck up to the handicap spot, and then tie the tow rope on. Then Matt got in the gator and I got in Matt's truck and we towed it out of the bushes. This is when I wish I had the camera. An hour later Sue had gone to Brunswick and came back with a new digital camera. This is of course something I have to figure out. She also came back with a video camera which I can figure out how to run but seem to be having trouble actually getting it transferred. So next time we have a computer geek guest come maybe they can do it.

August has actually brought us some warm weather finally. Hence my pictures of the kids in the pool. Danny is on the right bottom and Josh on the Left. Then Terrence is in the photo on the top. It will be nice come the day when I do not have to go in the pool with him. I have a hodgepodge of stuff to say... Another Lobster War started in Owls Head, vandalism and a boat sinking check it out at www.knox.villagesoup.com. I do continue eat lobster as much as I can and hope they stop fighting. Today is the Orrs Island Book Sale, this is one of the Harpswell's Biggest Events of the year. When I came to work there were about 40 cars in line 1/2hr before it opened. They sell both new and used books, CD's, DVD's and a great selection of Children's Stuff. There is also a bake sale (which they hit Aimee and I up for)and library clothing. They are planning for the expansion of the library this year. They have a great section in the back with free computer use and WI Fi. We even have regular guests that are library card holders. So next time you come check out our library.

In keeping with Sue's request for a different vegetable for lunch each week, today we had Bok Choy. I made a Chicken and Peanut Stirfry. Then I had to stock up on some Seafood Sauce and Crab Melts. Now I am headed in to see what kind of Ice Cream to make..I think Caramel Pecan.

Have a great week everyone.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Life long friends




This past weekend my very good friend , Deb and her beau, Ray came to visit. We have been the best of friends since we were 10 years old. Not to give my age away, but that is for 48 years!!! (This is Sue by the way--not Alicia)

If you have been following the blog, you know that the weather has been horrible this year. The prediction for the weekend was "iffy". But, the good Lord must have decided that Deb needed a nice, fun, sunny day. That is just what we got on Saturday, the day of this picture. We had a lobster bake and visited with friends and family.

Debs beau, Ray, I have also known since age 15--when they dated in high school. Their lives went separate ways for many years, but they have reconnected once again, all these years later. This is very exciting for me because Ray is a great guy and Deb will be very happy.

This week Neal and I will drive over to New Hampshire to see Debs parents, who are my "second" parents. They are the nicest people in the world! They also love lobster so we will of course bring some along.

Friends are a real blessing. To have a great friend for 48 years is a priceless gift.

Thanks to all of our friends!! Sue

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harpswell Festival





Hi All..if you are thinking that my blog is late it is.. but that is only because I did do it Wed and now it is somewhere in Cyberspace. So just think of today as Wed.

This weekend Harpswell is celebrating its own Festival. It will be held Sat the 25th and Sun the 26th. It is a great venue for non profit organizations and Business to promote their causes,products and services. Aimee is heading up the Nursery School Raffle with Grand Prize a night at the Log Cabin. My sister has the Flamingo Table fundraiser for the Elementary Swim Program. The Fireworks will be Sat night and a Big Parade ( yes dogs included) on Sunday. Last year over 5,000 people attended, best part the parking and admission is free. Actually the best part is the food. Last year I entered the Pie Contest.

Another thing we all ( actually Matt)looks forward to is the 71st Annual Bailey Island Tuna and Sportfishing Tournament. This is the longest continuous tournament on the East Coast. In recent years the Tuna have been scare so they have focused a lot on Striped Bass, Mackerel, and BlueFish. They have a great program for the kids and they give out a lot of prizes that keep the kids happy. This year there actually has been some Tuna caught. Typically this is the week for fog.. but now that the rain is back it is keeping the fog away.

I was busy cooking today, lobster newburg, seafood lasagna, key lime pie, yummy salad. Also lunch for Sue, Emily and I roasted tomato, goat cheese, and pesto sandwich's with a yummy Rainbow Swiss Chard on the side.

Thanks Marcia for making us the awesome gift cards and ceramic coasters. The Sea Shell Mirror is something we will look at every day.

Have a great week everyone. Alicia

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lobsters




Guess what everyone the sun is out, people are in the pool and I am not complaining of the rain, Yeah ! I am very excited that Lobster Season has arrived. The Lobstermen are out fishing in the Bay right in front of the Inn. You can even see the different color buoys that each lobster man has. The good news is that the price of Lobster is Very low right now. One of the local seafood stores is selling the 1 lb lobsters for $2.99lb. For $3.99 lb you can get them a little larger. It is cheaper to eat lobster than Hotdogs. The bad new is that the Lobster Men are only getting paid $2.50 or so from the dealers for their catch. What with the rising cost of fuel, bait and other expenses it is really a tough time for the Lobster Men to break even. So please the next time you are thinking of a real yummy meal pick up a few lobsters and think of Maine..or better yet come to the Log Cabin and I will cook you up some.

I would like to thank Doreen for bringing us some of her homemade Baklava. Then to Marcia for my stuffed pink flamingo, at least I know someone is reading my blog. We still have a few openings left for this Summer, looking forward to seeing you all.

Alicia

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rain and Flamingos



If you think you are reading last weeks blog and I am complaining about the rain rest assured it is this weeks blog and I am complaining of the rain, because it is still raining. We had more than dbl the normal rainfall for June and yesterday we had a record low temp, it never came out of the mid 50's. We did have a sunny day Monday and Aimee and I along with the boys rushed to the beach. The rain is bringing in a few people off their motorcycle's. We are assured by the not so popular Weathermen that we are going to breakout of this cycle by Thursday afternoon.

Big News in Harpswell this week. We had a Major Theft.... Stolen Flamingo's. The Harpswell Island School is holding a Fundraisor for their Swim Program. Individuals and Business' are being "Flocked" with about 25 Flamingos on their lawn. To set the Flamingos free and on to other pastures the Flockee must pay a ransom (donation) and then suggest where they want them sent next. We had a nice flock here on the lawn at the Log Cabin. Can you picture this among the flower beds. There was also a flock at a Business on Orrs Island. The night of the Fireworks the Flock was stolen from Orrs Island. This got a lot of people's feathers up, me included. I called the TV Station and they aired a piece with photo's of the Stolen Flamingo's this also made it to the Radio Stations. Within an hour of the News Feed the Flamingos were returned. I suspect the Robbers did not know they were stealing from a Childrens Swim Program and then got shamed into the quick return.

Nothing out of the ordinary as gifts from the guests this week. I did get to pick some lettuce out of the garden and made Sue, Emily and I a nice salad for lunch.
There will be sun this Weekendso come visit us.

Alicia

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Independence and Strawberries

I would like to start out by saying I am looking out the window with the sun shining but that would be a lie so I will not even speak of the 24 days of rain,clouds and fog that we have had.

When I think of 4th of July I think of Strawberry's. The Strawberry's seem to like the rain because I have heard reports that this is a great year. While driving down the road there are many people camped out in their cars selling them while dodging the rain drops. If you are adventurous like Matt, Aimee and the kids you can go pick them at several locations in the area. I also think of the yearly Ice Cream and Strawberry Social that has been at the Bailey Island Library Hall for more years than I can remember. The "true" Strawberry Shortcake is only with nice homemade biscuits which I happen to have in the oven right now. If you are not into shortcake there is of course Strawberry Pancakes,Jelly or Daiquiri's.

I have often reported on how our guests bring us some great gifts. This week I must say happens to be the most bizarre gift as of yet. The Lewis' of N.H. showed up with a Santa Claus Suit. I am not sure if this is so we remember them every time we look at our Christmas Card but gave us a good laugh on a rainy day.

Cooks Restaurant is hosting the Fireworks this year on the 3rd. The best spot to watch them is from the decks of our rooms. Happy 4th to All and travel safe.

Alicia

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Walking and Hiking Opportunities


I am just about as sick of the rain as I am listening to people complain about the rain. I do wish I could look out and watch people swimming in the pool instead of looking at the cover on it.

One of things that I like to suggest for our Room Guests to do is take advantage of the many Hiking Trails in Harpswell. The Cliff Trail is a 1.5 mile loop trail that crosses the highest point in Harpswell. For many the highlight of this trail is the two "fairy house" zones and the view from the 150ft cliff overlooking Long Reach.This property can be accessed behind the Town Hall. Another favorite is the Giant Stairs on Bailey Island. This is a 1/4 mile shore walk with spectacular views of the Atlanic Ocean. The Giant Stairs are formed by erosion of an intrusive volcanic dike. If you still have some ambition left there is the Long Reach Preserve, Thalheimer Farm, Austin Cary Lot, and Mitchell Field which is a 116 acre property with rocky beach access by foot.

Congratulations to Barry and Mary Alice O'Niel in the photo above celebrating their 53rd Anniversary at the Log Cabin.

On my way into the Kitchen to make some Mango Sherbert.
Alicia

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ice Cream




What an awesome day on Bailey Island. The pool is open, the sun shining and the lobster men hard at it. After several months of Matt bugging me, today I am finally making Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream. We have some Very Large Rhubarb patches on the property and it is a shame to let them go by. I even have some Room Guests that live locally that I have to call because they wanted to come back when I have made the Ice Cream. I think I should have Matt at least try it before I call them. I also just finished making a Blueberry Pie that a guest requested to go along with his 3.2lb Lobster for tonight.

In the Garden the Iris' and the Poppy's are so colorful it is like a painting as I sit and look out the window. The Magnolia blosssoms are just about gone, the Lilly's are on their way and I am anxiously awaiting the Dahlia's. I also picked the first lettuce of the season from the Garden what a treat the guests got. Today Sue is planting zucchini. This must be a sign of Summer, along with the kids finishing up school. Back to the Kitchen.. Alicia
P.S. Happy 31st Anniversary Sue and Neal

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunsets on Bailey Island, Maine







Here are a few sunset pictures from the past.....we are in a rainy spell right now, so I thought these may brighten the day!

The gardens are quite spectacular at the moment....they are enjoying the moisture.

Hope all is well with all of you! Sue