Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maine:The Way Life Should Be

Maine...The Way Life Should Be........

The State of Maine used this catchy phrase for all of its tourism promotions throughout the 1980's and 90's. Truer words were never spoken! We love it here! It is such a beautiful place..so much diversity. We have rustic, remote woodlands, pristine lakes, quaint colonial villages, scenic rural farmsteads, a rugged rocky seacoast with lighthouses, clipper ships and fishing boats, small towns and bustling cities, sandy beaches, lobsters and loons..... and I love it all! That's why we moved here from the urban squall of southern New Hampshire. We sought the peace of small town life and as an artist, I sought the unlimited subject matter and inspiration that surrounds me each day. Our life is idyllic. How blessed Bill and I are to be here in this place, in this time. Every night when I watch the evening news with its murder and mayhem, greed and deceit, it seems so unreal, so unbelievable and hard to relate to as I look out at majestic Mount Katahdin and listen to the mourning doves cooing as they pick at the seeds on the ground below the birdfeeder. Such peace and harmony here and the world pictured on TV in economic and social chaos, so difficult to relate to. We get our Directv satellite network feeds from New York stations as no local stations here in Maine are available to us. It is so bizarre to watch the news as reported from New York City, to watch traffic reports that show the crush of cars in morning and evening rush hours (on my drive to "downtown Sherman" I often don't see another vehicle till I am right in the center of town), the glitter and glitz of metropolitan social events (here "Hunting Blaze Orange" is the "black"). I chuckle as I think what a slave to fashion I was as a younger woman in those 20's,30's and 40's years...appearance was so important. I wouldn't go out in the front yard without making sure my makeup and hair were perfect. Oh, how that has all changed! I have only worn a skirt once since I moved here to Maine in 1992....for my son's wedding. My daily attire consists of jeans and a Tshirt, sandals in the summer and hiking boots in the winter. I wear jeans to church on Sunday. I'm convinced that God looks at my heart, not my attire! To go to a movie we have to drive about 50 miles. The only restaurant in Sherman is a little 7 table truck stop, very common fair but the best darn fish fry you could want on Friday night. For fun, Bill and I go ride the logging roads in the North Maine Woods looking for wildlife and beautiful scenery. Our social life revolves around church, we attend every Sunday and Wednesday evening driving 25 miles south to the town of East Millinocket..... and that's it. That's our life! I am going to try to be more faithful in blogging as I have many people who write and ask me to tell more about my life now, and my life growing up in rural New Hampshire. My sister keeps prodding me to write a sort of family history, about our childhood for our kids as the way we grew up is so different from the way our grandkids live today. So stop back and check the blog as I will be posting more pictures and stories of life in Maine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring is Coming!!!!!

I am so looking forward to spring! It has been a cold long winter here in the North Woods of Maine. We still have snow on the ground but some has melted away leaving patches of withered dead grass showing.

Smidgen and Lovey Dovey, our two white doves, have been out foraging for nesting materials, grabbing long blades of withered grass to take back to their nest. Bill looked inside their little coop that's mounted on the side of the tractor barn and reports that their nest is not very organized. I guess that's their way. Robins build beautiful tightly woven nests in the spruce trees around the yard and the phoebe that built the little nest on the top of the grapevine wreath on the back porch builds a sturdy tidy nest too. But the doves, Bill says, work on a helter skelter method but I guess it makes them happy because there are two little eggs right in the middle of all the grassy chaos.

The snow has been heavy and deep this winter! We've had quite a few big storms. Below are some pictures I took at the end of February to give you an idea of what it's like.

This is the view from our bathroom window. The snow comes right off the metal roof and piles up against the house. It gets scary when its this deep. I actually have to stick my broom out the window and move it to the side so we can see out. All the snow banks are as high as that one to left of the chicken coop.

This is our old plow truck that Bill left parked on the edge of the yard near one our little outbuildings. Good thing we have another newer plow truck, huh?

The snow drifts really deep here in this part of the yard- sometimes 5 or 6 feet deep! You can't walk in the unplowed areas unless you have on snowshoes. You really need them here at the Haven. We have several pairs.

As you can see from this picture we would be in real trouble without the plow truck! Our driveway out to the Gallison Road is 1400 feet long. In the spring, summer and fall it's lovely walk. In the winter it can be an unplowable HELL! The northwest wind plugs it full of drifted snow that often the 4wheel drive plow truck can't move. That's when we hire a guy with a bucket loader to dig us out. We get snowbound! People always remark how well I paint spruce trees. They are everywhere here! I always loved Christmas...wish it were year round and with all the fir trees here in Northern Maine it almost is! I love our little Jeep.....it's a necessity living way in here like we do! It handles great in the snow! I actually love going out in the middle of a snowstorm to go to town in it. The short wheel base makes it handle like a dream in the snow. And we use it to pull the plow truck out of some of the messes Bill gets in when he "cowboys" it up a little too much plowing the driveway. He buries the truck so bad that often the snow is right up over the hood. He toots the horn (because he's stuck so bad, he can't open the truck doors) and I come to the rescue with the trusty little Jeep. I hook a chain on the bumper and pull him out. Winter is a lot of work up here.

This is the mouth of the driveway as I head out to town. As the winter progresses it often narrows down to the point that you can't open the doors of the Jeep if you stop so then we have to hire some heavy equipment to come in and widen it for us

That's our sign coming in the driveway from the Gallison Road. I can barely touch the top of the sign in the summer so it gives you an idea of how deep the snow is and how high the snowbanks are.

The snow builds up on the deck so I can't open my studio door in the winter. We cover it over with plastic and I only use it in the good months.

Well that's why I am so excited about spring! Of course, at the slow rate the snow is melting, the Easter Bunny will have to be a snowshoe hare!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January Freeeeeezzzzzeeeee!

I'm not a very faithful blogger.......

I do have to apologize but I am not a very faithful blogger. Sometimes I feel like my life travels at warp speed but I am making a New Years Resolution to try to blog more to let you know what is happening here at the Haven. The holiday season was uneventful and calm, which made it so much more enjoyable.

Penny Lane, my publisher released my first 3 prints in November. They do a wonderful job. The prints are done a a very nice quality paper, much better than I expected to be honest. I have had prints done before at printers but this paper is different.... very sturdy and great colors. The originals of the 3 paintings are up on my website for sale ( http://www.agiftofmaine.com/) and I have included pictures in this blog entry.

Now it is time to start some new paintings. This evening I will be prepping some 11 x 14 canvases. They work up quicker than a large piece and Penny Lane has been nipping at my heels for me to get moving on some new paintings for them.So it's off to paint.....talk to you soon.