Friday, July 31, 2009

When Little Ones Learn To Sail

Most mornings while leaving the harbor, we pass by a sailing lesson in progress. Our Sorrento Village Improvement Association hosts many activities for the summer kids of Sorrento. They start as early as age 4, which always amazes me.

A little way out from the harbor, I spotted a couple more, I'm thinking this may be an intermediate or maybe even an advanced class.

Besides learning to manuever around all the buoys from the lobster traps, they also get the chance to practice being in the water with other boaters nearby.

Like these little ones that got right smack in the middle of a traffic jam in Sorrento Harbor on July 4th last year.

And, I am happy to report, they did just fine!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Seaside Hydrangeas

Quite possibly my most favorite flower in the universe.

My sister's garden. Taken today. In the fog.
You should see it when the fog lifts. Amazing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Foggy Day Delivers a Feast For the Eyes

What goes good with fog?

Having friends over for lobsters.

Wow, it really IS foggy.

And then shopping for art at this year's Schoodic Arts For All Silent Auction held Sunday in Winter Harbor.

The auction took place at Hammond Hall where several rows of art donated by local artisans were displayed. When we arrived, we noticed there were plenty of folks already recording their bids. Time to play catch up.

But first things first, as we discovered another table set up complete with food, flowers AND wine.

These clever felted stones caught my eye right away. That one on the left really DOES look like granite. Or have I had too much wine already?

Stepping outside to take a breather in between my bidding, I noticed this pretty scene right next door. How charming a foggy day on the coast of Maine can be!

Back inside as the afternoon progressed, all of us made some bids, lost some bids, but a few of us scored. And when it was all said and done, this was the little treasure I brought home with me.

A mermaid necklace from Las Sirenas the Mermaids Gallery, in vibrant aqua hues that sparkled just enough to burn right through the fog as we made our way home.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What Can You Make With Lemon Balm?

Lemon Balm Shortbread

After 2 months of growing the lemon balm that my friend Diane gave me, I was able to harvest more than enough for this recipe.

Here is the recipe for the shortbread that I found over at My Messy Thrilling Life blogspot.

The recipe calls for the use of my wooden spoon which I happily use to stir the butter and sugar together until they make a grainy paste.

But unlike Brin, I did not happen to have homemade strawberry jam on hand, so I used Smuckers Orchard's Finest Northwoods Blueberry Preserves sandwiched between 2 layers of shortbread.

All ready for the oven.

Cooled, cut into shapes, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with more blueberry preserves and here they are.

All ready for Sunday brunch with our friends tomorrow! Except, of course, the ones we had to test out after dinner this evening.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3 Buckets Full

A scene from this morning's trip out on the water.

You might want to hold your nose for this one . . .

It was time to replenish our bait.

Because we only have 10 traps between us, we fill bait bags, and freeze them in zip lock freezer bags until we need to rebait our traps. Less stinky this way.
Herring . . . it's the breakfast of lobsters.

Another pretty scene from this morning to get those images out of your mind.

Sorry about that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Felted Purse Paired With Raku Fish Pin

First, a little documentation of a sunny day in Maine.

Here is my hand knitted wool purse that has been keeping me busy during our rainy spell. It did not come out as I intended, but if you haven't seen the original pattern you would not know. I used a pattern out of Ella Ray Book #8. This is the pre-felted picture of it.

Here is the finished purse with one of my raku fish pins added to it.

Rather than drill a hole into the fish, I wrapped it with black linen thread to secure it to the purse.

Did I mention the sun was out again today?

Proof, just in case anyone in Maine missed it.

Where Do You Find Inspiration?

This was in one of our lobster traps the other day. So I snapped a quick shot of this cheerful little creature before I released him back into the ocean.

Back home, I found fabric left over from another project, cut out a quick template using newspaper, pinned it onto the fabric, and with a quick zip on the sewing matchine, a little stuffing, a button for his belly . . .

and ta-da! . . . an accent pillow

Here's an inspirational poem I found on-line

Poem: “Starfish”Eleanor Lerman, from Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds.

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman down beside you at the counter who says, Last night, the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder, is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the pond, where whole generations of biological processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds speak to you of the natural world: they whisper, they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old enough to appreciate the moment? Too old? There is movement beneath the water, but it may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.
And then life suggests that you remember the years you ran around, the years you developed a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon, owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have become. And then life lets you go home to think about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time. Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one who never had any conditions, the one who waited you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave, so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you were born at a good time. Because you were able to listen when people spoke to you. Because you stopped when you should have and started again. So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, with smiles on their starry faces as they head out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

– Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. See her work at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Don't Know What's Normal (In My Garden)

With this being my first garden ever, compounded with all the rain and cooler weather we have had so far this year, this is a sample of what's been happening out there. It's been just about 2 months since I started the first of my plants.

By far, the most prolific plant in my garden

A blurry shot, but the 3 tiny green beans growing on this plant tell me this may be my next harvest.

Okay, now this one clearly looks like a snow pea. I don't remember planting any snow peas. I thought I had planted cantaloupes in this spot. And the vines really started trailing and then after the flower bloomed I saw a little green nub starting and told everyone about my tiny cantaloupe...until the shape elongated and then flattened out. Hmmmm I don't care what it is, I'm eating it when it's done.

Here's my lemon balm. It is so very fragrant just touching it with your fingers releases that wonderful lemony aroma. I have a recipe for lemon balm shortbread that I will make when I have enough to harvest a cupful.

A welcome surprise! A little tiny flower bud on my cherry tomato plant.

And here's my celery, that looks pretty much the same as when I
planted it from nursery bought seedlings.

My sweet pea flowers are growing all crazy and seem eager to latch onto the trellis, but no sign of buds yet.

Come on broccoli I know you can do it! My friend Diane that gave me
this plant as a seedling has already enjoyed a harvest or two of hers.

I'm really looking forward to some of these tiny, new red potatoes when they're ready.

So far, my garden has been critter free, or does that happen when you actually get to harvest the more substantial fruits of your labor? Until then, I remain a very happy gardener, because like I said, I don't know what's normal (in my garden).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Basil From My Garden

Started from seed and now ready to harvest, another ingredient from my first ever garden that I get to sample.
I believe this was the freshest and most wonderful basil I have ever tasted.

Along with the pizza dough and Cabot cheese, some other store bought ingredients that I used were extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, garlic and cherry tomatoes.

Baked on a pizza stone for 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven, it filled my kitchen with the most wonderful fragrance.

It was SO good.

Really good. Yet the next time I make it, I think I will add a lot more basil and tomatoes, and perhaps a touch more garlic. And if I'm real lucky, they will be the cherry tomatoes from my garden!