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I’m Melting!

We woke up to this this morning. About 100 feet of open water. It’s amazing how fast it disappears once the process begins.

The Friends of Messalonskee are having a contest over on their Facebook page. Guess when ice out will be and you may win a prize. I fear I guessed too late (4/15).

A couple of days ago.

Spring Forward


We have sprung forward and the ice fishing shacks are mostly gone from the lake. Before long, there will be no ice. Meanwhile, the sunrise this morning was spectacular. It was also well left of the Music Camp … all signs of moving forward.



We have good news on Messalonskee! We have new baby loons!

Two of our nesting pairs have hatched healthy chicks. Our pair in the “marsh” has hatched two chicks and the pair on Pratt Island has one chick.

Gary Bennett, Captain Gary of Snow Pond Cruises shared some photographs taken by Peter Agnes this past weekend, when the single chick was a mere 12 hours old.


We love our chicks!

Please maintain headway speed through the narrows, watch for loons on the lake and give them lots and lots of room, particularly if they’re new parents! Please help us help keep baby loons coming and leave no wake within 200 feet of the shore.




I am so grateful to be a witness to the beauty of the days here on Messalonskee. The view from my studio on the second floor yesterday afternoon was awesome. In its truest sense, awesome. In the late afternoons we are treated to the most incredible show of Nature’s magic. My quick iPhone shot yesterday doesn’t begin to do it justice.

Ned took a photograph last year that is much more accurate. The opposite shore all lit up with the setting sun is what catches our breath!


The flowers that Ned’s mother planted ages ago are coming up again. As are the hosta and day lilies. We are planting some new lilies of the valley to replace the old ones that were lost when we built the new house. I love the yellow iris and feel so grateful that we are now full-time stewards of this piece of our planet.


We have built a small raised vegetable garden this year and are looking forward to seeing the plants grow. We can’t wait to share this wonderful place with visiting friends and family this summer. The house always seems happiest when it’s full. Full of our children, in particular. Maybe it’s simply a reflection of when we are the happiest.

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!

Welcome Fall!

View From the Porch


We sat on the front porch for the first time the other evening. We were noticing that the swarms of motor boats have become sparse and we haven’t seen any hummingbirds for at least a week. The songbirds have filled up at the feeders and headed south. The Canada Geese are starting to arrive and as of today, so are the cooler temperatures. Ned remarked that we have our lake back. (Well it feels like our lake!)

We are getting a lot done on the house! The cedar shingles are nearly complete and the floor of the front and side porches are finished.

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin'

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin’

Today the Sheetrock guys arrived and got most of the first floor done. It’s remarkable how efficient these professionals are. We are so enjoying seeing what the house is going to look like with walls!

We have ordered the kitchen cabinets and they will be delivered in two weeks. The range hood is in the house and the vent to the outside is installed. The plumbing and electric are roughed in. The bath tub in the guest bathroom upstairs is also in place. The security lights outside are in place. It’s remarkable!

Tomorrow the Chore Store crew will be framing the porch roof on the front of the house. And maybe the side porch, too. The majority of the siding has been bleached. The trim is all stained and touched-up. It’s time to order the appliances! Soon we will have Ron return with his digger to dig the gas, plumbing and whatever other ditches need to be dug. The gas and electric will get connected and we will have a boiler installed to provide us some heat. We are going to need it!

We turned on the space heater in the cabin this week. The mornings, in particular, have been chilly for us. We are out of practice!

Mass = Anticipation + Snow


Gravity, (”the Earth sucks”, literally), and small crepuscular furry rodents, are joining forces to rain down upon my land, at all times of the day, with no warning for what could be a painful convergence – acorns. Similar in some way to the yearly Persid meteor shower, randomness and regularity somehow showing up together, the small orbs manage to strike a variety of materials which by necessity litter my lawn. 100 year old beams, aluminum staging, a diesel two-man lift, aluminum, canvas, plastic, cardboard, grass.  If you got hit on the head with a falling oak nut  would you think it happened “to” you or “for” you? And would it hurt?

(Assuming the mass of the acorn is .005kg , and is dropped from a height of 10 m, then the velocity just before impact is 14m/s. The kinetic energy just before impact is equal to its gravitational potential energy at the height from which it was dropped-K.E. = .49 J, leading to an average impact force  F= 4.9N….I’m just saying)

I heard something one time about Mainers enjoying summer till  July 4th or so, then preparing for winter.  At the time I couldn’t quite understand.  Now , having been here  five months, and not having spent a winter in the far north since college at Syracuse,  I am beginning to prepare, at least mentally, and I can see that the natural world is also. A neighbor has finished splitting wood for this season and has taken delivery of 3 or 4 chords of green wood for next year.  I have also put up some wood but only because we had to take down a tree and it would be wasteful in this place to let wood rot. Snowblowers and canning supplies are being advertised in Sunday newspaper inserts which oddly don’t appear in Florida papers.

I wake before the sun rises and the frequency of falling acorns has increased to where its a game now to imagine what exactly the small nut hit on its path that gravity and perhaps eager chipmunks have propelled it on.  But acorns weren’t falling a several weeks ago when the hummidity was like a sauna, the box of salt almost falling apart because as you probably know, salt is hygroscopic. Autumn approaches, critters stuff their cheeks, or nests or whatever they stuff with food, wood is being delivered.  Soon leaves will color and fall in a mass vertical exodus.

Insulation is almost complete as is plumbing and electrical rough in. Perhaps a plumbing inspection next week then drywall. I will spend today and tomorrow staining cedar shakes from the lift so the porch can be started. The list of things to do, or buy, or make continues expanding, anxiety gnaws at me. (“Take me away Calgon.”)  I make decisions and quickly forget. What would the Donald do?


“Shakes Alive Melvin!” from Ned Warner on Vimeo.