Ice Fishing Season

img_7877It’s here!

Well, actually, it’s been here for several weeks if not months, but this is the first time I’m writing about it (or anything) here.

Ice fishing huts have popped up all around us on the lake. The ice is more than 18 inches thick according to Ned’s last drilling attempt this morning. His drill bit is 18 inches long and he didn’t get to the water this time. Amazing!

Last weekend we saw a pickup truck drive across the lake from the Sydney boat landing to just in front of the Lakeside Adventist Christian Campground. Several people got out of the truck to set their traps. Brave souls!

It sure it beautiful!

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40 Years Later

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The Warners 7/30/16 with all five of our children!

Well, we have finally done it.

On Saturday July 30th at 11:00 in the morning we were married in the yard here at our beautiful home. With our children and family in attendance, it was a spectacularly special day full of love and laughter. The weekend stretched from our only boy’s arrival on Tuesday through to the last daughter leaving the following Tuesday. It was everything that we had hoped it would be.

Late nights, beautiful days, water skiing, tubing, swimming, wine drinking and a lot of laughs. We are so blessed. I’ll write more as we come back to the “real world”.

Now for our honeymoon … at home on Messalonskee!

Life is good.

Wow! Lots of Activity

"Warner's"

“Warner’s”We have a lot going on here at “Camp Smedley”! 

 

We have a lot going on here at Warner’s “Camp Smedley”! Our house is nearly finished although I’d argue that it will never really be finished. Homes are a work in progress. Right? Ned and Tom have been working on the porch railings and the steps down to the yard. It’s wonderful to have our coffee on the porch again!

Last week the landscaping was started and it should be wrapped up on Wednesday with our sod going down. This is a huge project! As far as we know, there’s never been any “real” landscaping done here and many of the plants that we planted have not survived.

We hired Native Notions from Belgrade Lakes to do our landscaping. Matt’s design was creative and the plants were appropriate and hardy (and low maintenance). He really listened at our first meeting and delivered a plan that was just what we asked for. Thursday the crew arrived and went to work scraping the old gross yard away and then began to fill it back in with loam and the flower beds began to take shape. A couple of things that we particularly appreciated what that they installed a silt fence to protect the lake and were thoughtful of re-purposing the hosta and day lilies that were planted by Ned’s mother all those ages ago.

Here’s what it looked like before …

The yard on the railroad side of the house ... before

The yard on the railroad side of the house … before (with a little bit of Ned in the top corner)

Helen's Garden Before

Helen’s Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Every day when I came home after work I  was pleasantly surprised by the changes that I could see. It’s already a huge improvement and I can’t wait to see the finished project! I hope I took enough before and after pictures so that you can see what a wonderful job they did!

Day 1 - the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 – the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 - Lakeside Garden - After

Day 1 – Lakeside Garden – After

Day 1 - Helen's Garden - After

Day 1 – Helen’s Garden – After

One of my favorite parts, oddly enough, is the pathway of rocks around the house that will serve as a drip edge. It’s so pretty!

We are getting ready to have the whole family here for our wedding on July 30. Lots to finish up and clean up in preparation for our big event. I figure if we can live together in our little guest cottage for ten months and build a house without detesting each other we figured it’s time to make it formal!

Every day we thank our lucky stars to be here!

Eagle Games

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For the past several mornings (and the days that follow) we have had the privilege of watching a family of Bald Eagles on the ice in front of our house. While they are almost a mile away, they’re HUGE birds and appear to be even from a distance.

The first morning we spent an hour watching them with the binoculars. They were huddled on the ice in a large group around the closest ice fishing shack. As our day progressed, we watched them again and again. They’d fly off, come back, re-group but always the same five eagles. Two with full adult plumage (white heads and white tails) and three all brown (immature).

Never did we imagine that we’d get to watch them for days … and days! Our Marblehead family came up for an overnight and the eagle family thrilled them, too. Even with people playing out on the ice, the eagles remained. A neighbor was kind enough to tell us that the eagles are waiting for the left-over fish that were caught. It was a lightbulb moment for us but, man, those birds are patient!

In the afternoon and evening we’ve watched one or two of the eagles fly off. Once down the lake right toward our house, several times toward the Advent Christian Campground next-door. Every time it’s thrilling to watch.

Ned and the dogs and boys were out on the ice on Wednesday morning having a blast. The eagles were just beyond them on the ice. Amazing!

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For most of my life I had never seen an eagle in the wild. They had a spectacular eagle habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. I saw pictures of them in books. I even watched “nest cams” on the internet. When I moved to Florida, though, I started seeing them in the sky, along the side of the road (for real!) and on airboat rides. We saw one one winter when we came to visit Maine for a couple of days in the old house. It has always been a treat to see eagles but this day-after-day-on-the-ice-in-front-of-the-house thing has just been awesome! (In the truest sense of the word.)

IMG_6276We had a bit of snow overnight and it’s raining now and relatively warm (39 degrees at 8am). The ice in front of our house is all broken and there is open water this morning but the eagles are out on the ice.

It’s Saturday and there are a lot of ice fishermen out on the lake. In my humble opinion, our view is spectacular but adding a family of eagles to the mix ups the game by several million!

We are so lucky to live here!

We don’t miss Florida even a bit.

 

Snow!

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Winter has finally arrived in Maine

Winter has finally arrived in Maine.

We are fully enjoying every day on our lake, even as it gets colder and snowier! Each day the vista is a little bit different and equally beautiful. We can sit up in our bed and look out to see the early morning … sometimes with a sunrise and sometimes before the sunrise. Not often after the sun is up.

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We are early to bed and early to rise here. Perhaps because we don’t want to cover the windows (or haven’t yet). Or maybe it’s because we don’t have cable TV.

We were “worried” about getting in and out of our driveway and have been lucky so far. We seem able to get out after we clear the drive. The scariest part is making the turn on the hill. We each have a couple of hundred pounds of sand in our trunk and that may help. I have studded snow tires on all four tires, and am convinced that was a good investment. I think we’ll be going the 4-wheel drive way when we next purchase vehicles if, for no other reason, it will make us feel better.

Today the granite artist is supposed to be coming to “fix” our granite joints in the kitchen. I sure hope he can make them acceptable. We’ve been waiting forever to get it finished and I want to get the backsplash installed!

For now, suffice it to say that we are settling in and life is good. No question that we made the right move for us! We are so grateful to live in Maine!

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We did it! We live in Maine!

 

So Shoot Me…

It’s been a while…

We are in and mostly unpacked with a long list of details to finish while winnowing boxes of “stuff” one accumulates over the years. This house has close to the same square footage as our old one but 3 less closets and much less wall space in which to hang our artwork, family pictures, and bookshelves.  While I am constantly questioning the necessity of keeping everything I touch, which items have value enough to keep? My father won a golf tournament at a club outside Washington DC and the 3′ cup was presented by the Japanese Ambassador (go figure). Keep or toss? My mother’s parents, originally from Italy, had a glass wine dispenser, on a wrought iron stand with an insert for ice.  A unique item…pitch or relish? The wine dispenser actually took a trip to Goodwill but couldn’t get out of the car. I don’t display either item yet I have to keep them.

Things are valued because of sentimentality, design, perceived future use  (I love reference books), comfort, a myriad of personal judgements, all valid. It continues…

 

Here’s a tour of the place…

The Last Standup2 from Ned Warner on Vimeo.

We Are In!

Last night we slept in the house for the first time. It feels great to have some space and “real” heat (rather than space heaters).

We still have a lot of work to be done but we can live in the house while it’s done – and it may be just in time for our first snow storm overnight.

Tomorrow the moving company delivers all of our stuff from Florida. We are eager to see what we own after seven months! We got rid of a lot of stuff before we moved, things that we knew we didn’t want in our Maine house … and tomorrow it arrives.

Our replacement cupboard and counter tops should be coming this week, too. It’s so nice to have a kitchen with more than a one-burner camp stove! Ned’s new stove/oven is so fancy I don’t even know how to make it work … I want to bake so I guess I’ll find out.

We’ve been horrible about writing lately and for that we’re sorry. Chronicling this adventure has been a priority but lately we’ve been busy. Ned has been working in the house and I’ve been working at the yarn shop and teaching knitting. I’m eager to get my studio set up so I can work at home – I have a quilt to finish and a sweater to finish before December 13th! I’m on a deadline!

More pictures soon, we promise!