Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tea For Two

Grand #3 found the odds and ends of antique tea sets for dolls...tiny tea pot, creamer, two cups, one saucer.

 He invited me for tea.

Then I brought out a child's antique tea set:  three cups, four plates and a creamer, all a little bit bigger, but child sized.  Things got much more confusing.  It became more difficult to keep up with the complex imaginings of high tea with his majesty.  At three and a half, this young man has an amazing imagination and the ability to create whole universes of alternate realities.

Can you think of any other activity guaranteed to keep young and old alike completely enthralled on a rainy day at the cottage?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Screaming For Ice Cream

I scream, 
You scream, 
We all scream, 
For Ice Cream!

And then, there's Grand #4, who at 13 months, can give out the 
scream of all, when it comes to getting his share of the good stuff.

Step one: focus on the prize.

Step two:  concentrate and dig in.

Hint:  it helps to have a stabilizing hand on the bowl, even if it's not your own.

Step three:  find your mouth and enjoy!

Can you tell we are having as much fun as is humanly possible, being entertained by our Grands for the summer?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

From One Extreme to the Other

The  sun is shining!  Let's go for a picnic!!!!

The Holbrook Sanctuary is a special place that is perfect for young families.  It's only a 15 minute drive away from our camp and everyone was thrilled to make the visit.

A beach bar-b-que on the east coast.  Yes, we did serve fruit and veggies too.  :)

As we frolicked in the water, raced around the fields, chased the dog and skipped flat stones on the inlet, our family out west was facing the worst flooding in recorded history for their area.

Watch the video coverage here: 

Lunch was a somber affair as cell phones came to life. Calls, one after the other, brought us up to date on current conditions, fears and hopes, as waters rose and land disappeared in our beloved Canmore, Alberta.

As of this writing, our families and their homes, remain high and dry.  Our friends, who had been evacuated are now back in their own beds.  Some of our buddies didn't make out well at all.  Tears came unbidden, as we watched the destruction of their home, caught on video.  Canmore remains cut off from the outside world-- the TransCanada Highway being washed out on both ends.  The topography of the Cougar Creek area is now unrecognizable.  Parks, walkways, hiking trails and houses all wiped away in the blink of an eye.

As in all stories of natural disaster, there are notes of joy.  People are rising to the occasion and helping each other.  The citizens of Canmore are lauding their public service crews, the municipal, provincial and national "help teams" that have rushed to their rescue.  Each and every hotel, motel, inn and B&B in Canmore has opened their doors to the evacuees.  Neighbours are helping neighbours.

The force of that violent water was terrifying.  The clean up will take time and money.  The fact that no lives were lost in our town (at least three people were lost down-river) is so totally amazing to me.  There are so many things to be grateful for.  Canmore, we love you and are praying for you all.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Cracker Man is Nuts!

He was standing there, rain dripping from the brim of his Sou'Wester hat, splashing off onto his yellow slicker, his white beard lending another touch to the "Old Man of Maine" image.

-Hello, he greeted me, from under the tarp over his wares.

-Oh, you are the Twelve Dollar Crackers Man! I exclaimed, ha, ha, ha! 

-Why, yes.  You are laughing....

-No,'s a family joke.   Suddenly, I felt myself sinking deep into a bottomless pit. I didn't want to go there.  No!  You kinda' had to be there.  It was a funny, family thing.  I was digging in deeper!

-You don't like my crackers??????

-Well, they are rather expensive, don't you think?  I mean, $12?????

-But they are hand made.  People buy them.  Repeat customers even.  Why don't you like them?  I need an honest answer here!!

-Really.  It's not a biggy.  We were a family, happily having fun and relishing our togetherness, and....well it got to be a joke, sort just extrapolated into funny fun.

-But you don't like them.  What is it?  What don't you like?  Don't you think they're good?

-Well, they are crackers.  And, they are REALLY expensive.  I really don't think crackers should cost $12 each.  Don't  you think that's rather alot for one cracker?

-The small ones are $8.00.  The medium sized ones are $10.00.  Only the large ones are $12.00.

I am not making this up, Folks, this really happened, word-for-word.

That exchange transpired during our foray into the very wet, pouring rain, Tuesday Farmers' Market in Brooksville last week.  This week, the sun was shining.  My daughter with her young family and her mother-in-law, visiting from Alberta, came along to soak up the ambiance and flavour of Down East Maine.  The Cracker Man recognized me.  He asked if my opinion of the crackers had changed over the past seven days.  Had I thought about his artisan crackers? Had I revised my opinion?

-I've spoken with other people who truly admire your crackers, that they are hand made and very healthy.  Yes, people do like them, I exclaimed.  I was trying to be supportive, positive, encouraging.

-But you still don't like them.  

-It's not that I don't like them.  They're probably great.  I just think they are really expensive.

Today, without his rain gear on, I noticed his waddle, the loose flap under his chin, wobbling back and forth as he earnestly held my gaze and refused to back down.  It was a challenge to keep my eyes looking into his face and not on his waddle.

He gave me a cracker.  A small one.

-Try this.  You may like it.  How long will you be around, he asked?

-All summer, until mid-September.

-Well come see me every week.  We'll continue our...

-Our ConFlab!

Just then, my friend Linda, Daughter's mother-in-law, came up.  Linda, let me introduce you to this man selling handmade crackers.

Linda was all over it.  I've been wanting to make my own crackers forever!  

I stepped back as they went at it.  Recipes, rolling techniques, cooking methods, the intricacies and delicacies of crackers became a thing in-and-of-itself.  Fascinating.  And then...she said....

-I'll take one.

She opened her purse and pulled out three one dollar bills.  I waited.  I watched.  She glanced over at the price board.  He became busy with his bags and spoons and seeds.  

With a flourish, he handed her a SMALL cracker with one hand, and held out his other hand for ...

That will be Eight Dollars, please.

Linda was a saint.  She regrouped.  She paid the asking price.  She staggered away.

In the parking lot, as our troop amassed to move on, she turned to me with eyes the size of dinner plates, here chin slightly quivering.

Is that man mentally challenged?  Twelve dollars for a cracker????  When I saw his price list, I thought it was $8.00 for a dozen small ones.  Who in the world pays $12.00 for one cracker????????

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Black and White Wednesdays

Mrs. Claus keeps us interested in producing the very best we can in Black and White.  Today's selections come from my recent visit in Summit County (Breckenridge, Colorado).  We got to spend two glorious days in the mountains, touring the high country ranch lands and wanting to be cowboys.

I liked the mule.  I liked the burrow.  I liked the trail horses.


Here are the true black and white horses, standing in contrast, just for B&W Wednesday!

  Horses have such a majestic look, they are strong and loyal and fun to ride.  Do you like horses?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

From East to West and Back Again

Weddings always give us an excuse to travel to fun places and enjoy the scenery, besides the joy of the celebrations that go with the whole enchilada!  Hubby and I met up in Denver for the festivities and then drove on west to Breckenridge in Summit County to visit our old haunts from "back-in-the-day".  Thirty seven years ago, we skied the hills every weekend of winter, tromped the trails in spring and fall and pretended to be cowboys.

click on photos to enlarge and truly enjoy!

Good bye Maine...see you soon.

The Brown Palace in Denver--120 years old and still going strong.  This was the venue for the wedding.

Breckenridge ski slopes, much enlarged since the 70's.

Our buddies hosted us in their delightful log home, and toured us around the high country to see the sights.  We stopped off here for a little liquid refreshment.

Sam's over-the-top-beautiful log home.

The Pine Beetle killed off huge portions of the Lodge Pole Pine forests here recently, but the Aspen trees are as gorgeous as ever!

Sam introduced us to his burrow named Flap Jack.  My goodness, Flap, you have such a BIG head!!!

Pack mules, trail horses, and draft horses all came to Sam's whistle.  Cookies for horses!

 After the NO TRESPASSING sign, this is the one you get to see next on Sam's ranch.
Are you smiling?  After this is a hand gun mounted on a plaque and the words, "We don't call 911."  The Wild West.

I so loved this hat.  Maybe next time.

I only took 408 photographs over the weekend, but I guess these few will give you the idea.

Back to Maine, and we switched gears again.  Now I am playing FARMER!

It's all about having fun, one day at a time, even today, as I sit indoors at my computer and Mother  Nature douses us with another deluge.  The grass is growing and the fresh-baked cookies are a hit with the little ones (the big ones too).  :)  How is your weekend going?  I hope you are living, loving and laughing and looking forward to what comes next.