Life is Good!

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This is the view from my studio chair this evening. I love when the shore across the lake is all lit up in the afternoon. It really is magnificent.

Today was a good day. Good morning, good day at work, happy to be home and then this view when I looked out the window.

Our plants are blooming and most survived the winter and it feels good to be home. Here are a few pictures of the plants that I took today. I’m no photographer but I sure do love to see things grow!

Wild rose, “ever blooming” rose and yellow iris. The iris have been here forever and continue to spread all across the shore. The roses are both new. Rosa Rugosa (the wild rose) is a native plant and fully expected to live happily against the lakeshore. We shall see about my friend Janet’s gift from last year but I love these flowers. They are fragrant and low-maintenance and bloom all summer long.

How did we get so lucky?

Gone knitting.

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats?

 

View of the lake from the guest cabin

View of the lake from the guest cabin

I’m a little bit afraid to put it out there but being fearful just holds me back. So, with that said, I am putting it out there that I am thinking about hosting some weekend knitting excursions/retreats at our home in Central Maine.

I am privileged to live in a beautiful place. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place. Our house is five feet from a clean, clear lake and all the wonder that comes with it – loons, fishing, swimming, water skiing, boats, canoes, bald eagles, ducks, and more.

We have a little cabin on our property where we’ve been living for the past six months with our three dogs. It’s not fancy but it’s comfortable.  When I am done with the cabin renovation, it will sleep three or four comfortably with a shared bath and a little kitchenette. My thought is to have guests rent the guest cabin and we’ll do a lesson or two on our porch. I’ll provide a simple continental breakfast each day and then you’ll be on your own for dinner. I will provide you with a fiber map of great fiber-y places to visit while you’re here and great places to eat. Everything is within reach in about an hour and a half.

I’m thinking that a group of friends would have a ball up here. I know I have a ball with my friends and family here! Cocktail cruise in our boat one night, a road trip one day and some knitting on our porch with a lesson or two from me. It’ll probably be a year or so away … maybe more on the “so” end because we have to build a garage next year and the cabin will likely be following that project. So, unless you want to come and be really camp-y, it’s a way off. But I’m putting it out there.

Sunrise on Messalonskee

Sunrise on Messalonskee

I want to share this beautiful place and all the fiber-y goodness that Maine has to share. Prime weekends will be the Maine Fiber Frolic weekend in June or the Common Ground Fair in September. Not that we can’t do it for more than a weekend.

Pricing is yet to be worked out, but I’m thinking and dreaming. If you’re interested, let me know. Have any ideas or suggestions? I’m all ears!

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats. Love it!

 

I’m Not Ignoring You!

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Lilies of the Valley

I don’t want you to think that I’ve been ignoring you. I just can’t believe how busy my life has been since we’ve moved to Maine.

Mother Nature has been working double overtime to make everything around us green and blooming. The pollen has been like snow at times but it is beautiful when the wild flowers start to bloom in the woods. I saw some lilies of the valley on my walk a few days ago and our yellow iris down by the rocks at the edge of the lake are blooming profusely.

We have been to bed early and up early and have seen some beautiful sunrises. We are reminded with each one how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Even when it’s really, really early! IMG_4783

IMG_4798All three dogs are adjusting to living in the little guest cabin and to the noise that is our home-building destruction and construction life. Little Boq has had some wicked hot spots but we seem to have them under control again. The little dogs have been to a new groomer and will feel so much better now that they’re groomed and bathed.

I have been knitting a little. I’ve managed to finish the little pink zebra footie socks for my mentee in South Florida. She is turning 14! Yikes. I am hoping they fit and I have another whole ball of the same yarn to make one more pair to her specifications. She loves pink and zebra stripes, I thought the yarn was perfect!

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Pink Zebra Low Socks

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Two Dishcloths … one good, one not so good

I have also finished a couple of dish towels for my daughter. She sent me the yarn and I knitted her some cloths. One, I love. It’s Grandmother’s Favorite and it’s an easy knit and I love the way it came out. The second one was supposed to be a paw print. Ya know … I’ve knitted many paw prints before and must have used a different pattern. This one I do NOT like. It’s huge and not a good image of a paw print. I’m sending it anyway because she can use it for her dog’s muddy feet or something. But it will go with a note of explanation. (I wasn’t going to frog it after it was done but I’m not happy with it.)

I have chosen the third pattern for my Seacolors Yarn sweater and I think I am going to like this one much better. The pattern I am knitting is called Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer. I will not be making stripes but rather blocks of color. I’ve started with the peachy-orange shade and then will change to the green for the bottom of the body. I’ll see what I have left over for the sleeves. I’ll use the blue yarn for the edging and probably most of one of the sleeves. I’ll keep you posted!

I wore my cotton tunic to work yesterday. I love the color and the cotton yarn is perfect over a t-shirt or blouse. BUT I have always thought the straps were a bit too long. So, this morning I’m pulling the straps apart and shortening them. I would like to be able to wear it without  a shirt under it if I want … when I’m done, I’ll be able to. I got quite a few compliments on it and that always feels good!

I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to live here on our beautiful lake in Maine. It’s really a dream come true. The love of my life and I are building our home and all is right with the world.

Gone knitting.

First Morning in Maine

Messalonskee from the porch

Messalonskee from the porch

I slept almost twelve hours last night. We were in bed before nine. So goes life at “camp” (our home in Maine.)

We’ve got internet now. It happened a couple of years ago but we’re still fighting the idea of bringing in a television. It’s never been here. It, frankly, doesn’t seem to fit here. We watch some TV and movies on our computers but … no cable. We read and knit and play games and just sit. Since my knees and feet seem to be working better, I’m looking forward to some hikes, too. And a lobster dinner!

This is my first morning … with my coffee and dogs (all three of them and not without some growling) and it’s perfect. My little family is back together where we would rather be. There’s one fisherman on the “island”, crows are “cawing” (is that a word? I just know the spell check is going to “ding” me here!) the breeze is blowing and the sun is shining. It’s a bit hazy but perfect none the less. I have a lot of unpacking to do but I think it will wait until I have a second cup of coffee and sit here awhile and soak it in.

Gone knitting (maybe.)

Messalonskee – 4:30 a.m.

Sometimes I have trouble staying asleep (and it’s usually after two martinis.)

So when I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t go back to sleep I was able to take this photo for you! The sunrise is way down at the left end of the lake now. Give it a couple of months and it will be across the lake. Nowhere else do I know where to look for the sunrise (or sunset) and how it moves through the season. One day I hope we’ll know where it is in all four seasons.

Gone knitting.

The Crane in Maine Stays Mainly on the … Messalonskee

Sandhill Cranes

This afternoon we were on an errand run and we drove past two young men standing by the side of the road, we thought they had cameras but they were binoculars and telescopes. They were looking out over the marshy area at the bottom (or was it the top?) of the lake; our lake! … In the snap of an eye, Ned had the truck turned around and was out of the door. Luckily it was put into park or I’d have been trying to get over into the driver’s seat! The men, apparently, were looking to see Sandhill Cranes  … who are known to roost here on our lake!

I got on the Internet to research this phenomenon and it seems that while they’re common all over Florida, Sandhill Cranes are rare in Maine. In fact, they’re listed as a rare bird sighting on the Maine Audubon Website. Suffice it to say, I am shocked and amazed that our Florida bird friends are also here in Maine.

You may not know that I’m a (almost) life long bird-lover. I grew up in Avon, Connecticut on top of Avon Mountain. Much to my mother’s chagrin, we moved from suburbia with sidewalks and neighbors, close to everything, to the woods … and with three young children mom became a taxi driver! We grew up watching the birds with our father and our most wonderful babysitter, Lucinda (Lou) Kehoe. We learned to identify birds and some of their songs and lots of wildflowers and other woodland plants.

Pileated Woodpecker

It should not be a surprise, then, that we love the birds here in Maine (and also in Florida). There are so many birds that bring me back to my childhood. The day before yesterday, we were out taking a walk with the dogs and we saw a Pileated Woodpecker.

Dad always shushed us as kids because he’d heard a Pileated.

Dad searched see the Roseate Spoonbill. These birds, to the best of my knowledge, never showed themselves to my dad but since I’ve been living in Florida, I’ve actually seen some at the Canaveral National Seashore! They remind me a bit of Jimmy Durante (if you don’t know him, look him up!) with their long proboscis! Dad would be so proud of his ornithologically-inclined daughter!

Roseate Spoonbill

The Maine Audubon guys had also seen a Bald Eagle – I’m never going to get over the excitement that I feel when I see an eagle. Once, in Florida, when on an air boat ride with my two younger kids, the driver of the boat did one of those over the grass wide turns and up from the marshy land flew not one but TWO bald eagles … side by side. Oh. My. Goodness. That was an amazing sight! (And because I pointed them out to him, he let me drive the air boat for a bit!

We’ve seen Bald Eagles here in Maine – the winter we came up, there was one circling over the woods at the top of the driveway where we had to park the car because the driveway wasn’t plowed (and the snow was thigh-high!) They are magnificent birds and thrilling to see outside of captivity. (The only eagles that I’d seen before moving to Florida were in a huge flight cage at the Cincinnati Zoo; magnificent in it’s own right … until I saw a wild one in flight!)

Wildlife is so much fun to witness … loons, hummingbirds, gulls, common mergansers (the boy and the girl barely look like the same species!), great blue herons, moose, deer, ground hogs (aka woodchuck) and others too numerous to mention. And right now, before the real summer season begins, we’re able to see more nature and without the aggravation of boats on the lake or noisy neighbors! It’s wonderful to get away from the “real world” and sit and watch the lake and the sky. We’re so fortunate to be able to live in this wonderful spot … even for a few months.