Tag Archives: Maine life

Ice (almost) Out

We are watching the lake and waiting for ice out. The water is getting wider every day. Last night we made a bet. I think ice out will be 4/29. Ned says 5/2. We’ve bet a nickel. We’ll see who’s right.

The last two days have been warm here on the shores of Messalonskee. We have spent the better part of both days in the sunshine working in the yard and getting ready for spring cleanup. There is a lot of spring cleanup to do – we lost a tree last winter in the high winds and there’s a lot of raking to do. We never got the flower pots in before the dirt froze so we have that to finish, too. We could use a full time gardening crew! (Not likely  to happen!)

Ned has also been planning and chipping away at some granite that he found under the old house. He’s going to make a bird feeder. When the demolition of the old boathouse was complete, he used the backhoe to move the boulder to the front corner of the house. Now he’s decided to move it to the center of the garden nearest our driveway. He’s been “noodling around” a plan to move a 1000 pound rock … yesterday he worked it into its spot. Using a winch, some chair, a sheet of plywood, and some logs he moved the rock across the yard. I watched!

Ned is rebuilding our boathouse with Tom and the Chore Store. They’ve completed the platform on top of the old concrete foundation (a slab was poured late last fall under the old garage end) and then up went the walls. Another day and we had a roof. Watching a building being stick-built is really amazing. Tom and his crew do a great job and Ned is thrilled to have a sturdy building again. He will use the back end as a workshop and the front will still be our boathouse in the spring, summer and fall. We hope the big dock spiders have gone out into the woods never to return.

Today Ned went for his first “swim” when his waders weren’t as long as the water was deep. It was a cold shock for sure! Never the less, he persisted in getting the scaffolding up so that he could wrap the front of the building with whatever-the-wrap is. I wish I could tell you that I have been involved in the process, but I haven’t. I’ve been busy working at the Yardgoods Center while my boss is out of town.  I’m tired from being on my feet and sore but I still love working in the yarn shop!

Our Florida friends are still asking us if we are ready to leave Maine in the winter and if we regret moving up north. The answer is still and unequivocal “NO!” We are so thrilled to wake up in this beautiful place every morning. We love watching the birds return to the feeders, watch the ducks arrive back on the lake. We loved watching the Bald Eagles on the ice all winter long. The feathered loons should be returning soon. The human loons have taken their ice fishing shacks off the ice for another season. It was a good winter and we continue to feel so lucky to live here.

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March 2018 – In Like a Lion

IMG_2532The snow started last night around ten o’clock (pm). I woke up at some point during the night – maybe it was when my husband, dreaming, kicked me in his sleep? – and wondered if our power was still on. I didn’t hear anything but didn’t want to get out of bed either.

IMG_2533This morning when we woke up, the snow was falling heavily and several inches were on the ground, although, with the wind, it’s hard to know exactly how much we have. The porches are all snow-covered. The lights and screens are, too!

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As of ten o’clock (am) it’s still coming down and we’ve (the royal we, I have to give credit to my husband who takes care of my little dogs!) cleared a “spot” for the little dogs to go outside and husband has gone out to fill the bird feeders. We have feeders around the yard and have recently added a thistle feeder for the finches and a cracked corn feeder for the squirrels.

IMG_2537We have seen our first flocks of goldfinch and red-winged blackbirds. We have lots of birds in the winter … juncos and our year-round chickadees and all sorts of wonderful woodpeckers. Watching the birds is something I’ve loved since childhood. My dad was a bird watcher. He taught me everything I know about wild birds. I know he’d be thrilled to know we are carrying on his tradition … and the tradition of “fighting” with the squirrels!

March has come in like a lion! It’s beautiful!

 

Time Flies!

I can’t believe that there’s a crispness in the air already! The summer is flying by … and this weekend is Labor Day already! How is it that time flies by so quickly? I decided to choose a few pictures of the summer from beginning to end to show you what’s been going on at our house this summer.

It always makes us happy when the loons return to Messalonskee!

Duck family! We had two families this year.

Kids visiting … tubing is always a favorite activity!

Little cousins visit from the West Coast. They all loved visiting Blueberry Hill with Uncle Ned.

The rope swing is a lot of fun – even for the adults!

One Early Morning

A bit of knitting on the dock.

Another visit from the kids and the grand-dogs. Their favorite activity may be an evening “cocktail cruise”.

The BBD (Big Brown Dog) is happy in the sun on the porch. So are we!

8/28/17 The first morning where there is fog on the lake. The evenings are getting much cooler.

It’s been a wonderful summer and we look forward to the rest of the summer days. And the cooler weather of fall.

We are so fortunate to live here!

Welcome Fall!

View From the Porch

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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!

Beam-Strewn Yard With Tall Grass and All … Looking Good!

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

We’ve had a damp and humid patch that caused a little bit of stress here at Messalonskee Chronicles headquarters (the little cabin on the hill). When I went to put on a pair of “fancy” sandals, I noticed that my shoes were all covered in mold or mildew. A rough start to that day but we’ve managed to clean them all off and have purchased a little dehumidifier so it (hopefully) doesn’t happen again!

Lots of activity has been happening on our house and we are rolling along toward an occupancy date! Not sure of exactly when that will be, but we are getting closer every day. Meanwhile here’s what we’ve been up to …

Pipes for heat

Pipes for heat

The heating is being installed in the upper floors. We will have radiant heat in our slab on the first floor and baseboard heaters on the second floor. The third floor will have a plug-in unit. We expect to be super warm come winter! (And luckily, if we find ourselves feeling cool, I knit and have made and am making several warming pieces!)

We have also had our electrician here putting in all of his wiring. We have had to make some difficult decisions about where security lights will go and where we want the cans for the kitchen lights, etc.

lights will be nice!

lights will be nice!

 

 

We are grateful for every choice we are making because it means that we’re getting closer and closer to living our dream! (We hear that heat and lights will contribute to our success in Maine in the cooler months!)

 

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

 

 

 

Siding!

Siding!

 

 

 

We have had many (MANY!) deliveries by Hammond Lumber and we are continually amazed by the drivers who maneuver their big trucks loaded down with lumber, rolls of metal for the flashing and eaves and soffitts down our driveway BACKWARDS! A Hammond delivery is nearly a daily happening here and sometimes we get more than one delivery!

Painting in Progress

Painting in Progress

We’ve been painting the trim that will go around the windows and will be nailed up on the corners of the house. It’s going to look wonderful when we’re finished! It’s already looking better than we ever imagined (well, maybe we did imagine it but it’s amazing in person!)

If you’ve been by on the lake, you’ve seen the progress and many of you have stopped by to say hello. We appreciate your positive comments and looks forward to having a dock put in so you can come ashore and visit for a bit.

View from the Third Floor

View from the Third Floor

 

 

The view is breathtaking from the third floor … well, I think it’s pretty spectacular from every window! The doors arrive tomorrow! I hear we will be working most of the Labor Day weekend … and the kitchen should be coming pretty soon. We just need some plumbing roughed in and then an inspection by the town. We are making progress every day! How lucky we are!

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We are looking good! Beam-strewn yard with tall grass and all!

Slab Day is Here – An Update

Red Pex, Blue Foam Insulation ... in time for the 4th of July

Red Pex, Blue Foam Insulation … in time for the 4th of July

Last week the radiant heat pipes were set into the house. It was fun to see the grid of rebar and the red Pex pipes all in place. Air-tested, no leaks. I can’t wait to walk on them. We also met with a man who will be acid staining the concrete when the house is closer to being done. We’ve decided that we’d like to keep it simple and stain the concrete floors as they are. No tile or other for coverings are needed on the main floor. Upstairs we’ll have wood floors and baseboard heat.

We had the privilege of watching two bald eagles fly over our 4th of July picnic down the road. The first one landed in a tree by the house and we listened to the crows squawking and the eagle’s weak peeps. There was another big bird, too. The neighbors think it may be a golden eagle, we wondered if it was an immature bald eagle. But whatever it was, we all were thrilled to watch the big birds on Independence Day. And we’re all so glad that they’re living around our lake.

Yesterday Ned saw a big furry something in the lake. He took out the canoe to and found it was a dead raccoon. Bloated and stiff. What do you do with a dead raccoon? We didn’t want to let it rot in “our” lake. He buried it in the yard behind the boathouse. We’ve been having too much fun to blog.

We are making progress on the house, however! Today the slab got poured!

I marvel at the ability of the concrete truck drivers who can back their huge trucks down our challenging driveway backward with finesse. And the team of guys who, up to their ankles, can spread and smooth wet concrete with apparent ease. A real team.

The A Team (aka Arthur's Team)

The A Team (aka Arthur’s Team)

Arthur at Work by the lake. Ned watching and filming

Arthur at Work by the lake. Ned watching and filming

The pouring started at just a little bit past 6:24am this morning. Arthur our wonderful “cement guy” (my lovingly and respectfully coined phrase) was here bright and early to do whatever he had to do  and before I knew it, the rumble of the concrete truck could be heard. I had to get dressed for work quickly and grab my coffee so that I could go out and watch the big event. (I dressed so quickly that my underwear was inside-out!) It’s truly impressive to watch the team of men, concrete truck drivers, and Arthur’s team of five (including Arthur) in a time-proven process, communicating in nods and waves. A shovel-full here, half a barrel there and then making sure it’s all level and smooth. Sometimes with a machine and sometimes by hand. Amazing by my estimation.

Tonight it’s raining and will keep the slab cool and moist enough to slow the curing process and we’ll have a good, hard four-inch slab on which to build our house. I can’t believe that the next step is to raise some walls.

To my eyes, the house looks tiny. Tiny enough that Ned went out tonight to measure the slab. I’m happy to report that my eyes are wrong and it’s just the right size.

Woo! Hoo!

Breaking Rocks Takes a lot of Time

We’ve been taking baby steps every day. Making slow but sure and noisy (VERY noisy) progress.

We discovered that under the old house there are lots and lots of huge boulders. Most not a big problem that can be shuffled around and used as fill under the new house. BUT because we’re on the edge of the most beautiful lake in Maine … or the world … we can’t blast it out and one rock (it was visible) is giving us a real fight!

The first day of drilling.

The first day of drilling … with the hand machine

The guys have been drilling by hand and then by machine for what seems like days and days. It’s noisy and slow going. But they’re making progress (as I watch huge chunks of granite being dumped into the yard).

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Big Drilling Machine June 3

Ned’s having a wonderful time. We have three big machines in the yard at any one time and he’s been known to climb into them, turn the key and move them around … and he has informed me that he’s in love with granite. Oh boy! (I’m smiling!)

Meanwhile, I’ve been working at my new part-time gig at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville. It’s a family business that has been in operation for 65 years! I’m working on the yarn side helping knitters, crocheters and countless other fiber and craft enthusiasts to find their next project. Or talking them through a sticky spot in a project. I’ve met some wonderful people and am having a blast! Yesterday was my first time alone in the store and I only had to call Joyce twice! (And Bette once!) I’m so pleased to have been asked to come on board this summer!

Ned had a birthday on 5/29. I wrapped his presents in matching Amazon boxes! We were going to go out to dinner but after drilling all day he asked to order pizza and stay in. I was happy to oblige with pizza and a freshly baked strawberry rhubarb pie from the “girls” at the Green Spot.

I am filled with gratitude for the hard-work being done in order to build our new home. I can’t wait to start seeing it go up! We live in Maine!