Sunday, August 31, 2014

Small Towns to Visit #3: Webbs Mills, Maine

This afternoon we took a ride to the little crossroads town of Webbs Mills, Maine. Webbs Mills, which is now a part of the towns of Casco and Raymond, is typical of tiny rural New England villages that still look much as they did 100 years ago.

On a beautiful day like today, we like to head out of North Windham on 302, open the car windows, tale a right, and ride over the hills of Rt. 85 (Webbs Mills Rd.) catching occasional views of distant lakes below. Our destination on these rides is often Bitter Sweet Barn in Webb's Mills.



Bitter Sweet Barn bills itself as a "Mercantile" and sells unique country d├ęcor, jewelry, garden art, and gifts, beautifully displayed in a 300 year old barn pretty close to the official "middle of nowhere".

 
There is not much else in Webbs Mills now, except for some historical homes, a general store, and small church at the crossroads which anchor the little settlement.

 
But the garden at Bitter Sweet Farm is worth the drive...it is quirky, creative, organic and just "rusty" enough to suit my fancy each time I visit.


I love these rusty vintage pedal cars mounted to a track . . . like a whimsical vintage roller coaster zooming through the flower garden.
 
And how about this old rusty bed in the garden...complete with giant old rusty bed bugs. We had our daughter, Kristen, with us today and she got a real kick out of these "big bugs". This is a garden that doesn't take itself too seriously . . . how much fun is that?


Most of the structures in the garden are made from recycled, reused, or mismatched  "found objects. I love that too!


Like these shutters, hugging an old window that looks inward to the center of the garden itself, framing the sunflowers in the background.


 And how about these HUGE red flowers surrounding a little shady area to sit and listen to the sounds of late-August nature in transition.


How about this trellis? It's made of mismatched cast-off doors . . .


and anchored by a flower-filled vintage washing machine!




 
 This is a very happy garden . . .


 that doesn't take itself too seriously.


And I love it!
 
You never know what you'll find when you choose to take the road less traveled.


 So, if you're looking for a place to ride to this fall, consider Webbs Mills, Maine.
There's not much there but . . .
That's exactly the point.
 

p.s. I'll be sewing zippers together all day tomorrow . . . keep posted for the final results and a fun tutorial . . . Coming soon, I promise!

 
I'll be sharing this post at the following blog parties: 
 Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
Nifty Thrifty Sunday  at Nifty Thrifty Things
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

After a long drive to Florida and back, it is SO good to be home...
 


We left on August 16th and drove to Tampa to bring our grandson, Brian, to college for his first year at the University of South Florida.

We made it from Maine to Tampa in three days, driving all day and sleeping in our little Casita at night.
 

Our goal on day #2 of driving was to make it to Charleston for our favorite BBQ boiled shrimp


 at Red's Ice House in Mt. Pleasant, SC . . . with a much-anticipated side of Margarita's!


Finally, we arrived at USF in time for two days of Orientation . . . 

 
And Brian's "big move" into the dorm.
 
 
We were amazed at how smoothly everything went . . . the level of organization and the warmth of the welcome at such a large school were impressive!
 
 
Brian is in this Class of 2018 photo . . . somewhere!
 
And how many college campuses offer a private beach outside your dorm???
Brian & "Nanny" at USF
We left Florida on Monday for the long drive home, stopping overnight in Savannah, GA, Richmond, VA, and at a little campground in the mountains on the PA/NY border.

After two weeks of air-conditioning and daytime temperatures in the mid 90's, it was great to be back in Maine where we could throw open the windows and smell the sea breeze.
 

 
But this morning, after four days of sitting in the car and eating junk food on the road, it was back to Body by John for my work-out with Ben . . .

And then some much-needed quiet-time in the craft room.
 
 
 
Where I can't wait to get started on my next project, which involves lots and lots of . . .
 

 

 Zippers!

Curious?
 I'll post a tutorial soon...
I've got some sewing to do first!
 
   

Friday, August 15, 2014

USF or Bust

After a busy week of planning and packing, we're off for Tampa very early tomorrow morning to bring our grandson Brian to the University of South Florida to begin his college career.
We're so excited for him!

Brian in front of USF Marshall Student Center

It's hard to believe how quickly time passes . . . where did this little guy go???
Christmas 2007
 

2013

2014
Leaving home for the first time is always bittersweet.
Brian has said a lot of Good-byes to family and friends this week.
 
Brian, DH aka "Grampy" & his Great-Grandmother Lawson
 
I stopped at Kristen's house yesterday morning to give her a hug before our trip and, total coincidence, there was her housemate and good friend, Ryan, in a University of South Florida Bulls shirt!

To add to the excitement, Brian got his driver's license on Tuesday . . . finally!
(5th time's the charm, right, Brian?)


Today Brian is doing last-minute college paperwork...

While DH packs the Casita...


And the 4-Runner . . . for the long drive to Tampa.
He actually managed to fit everything for Brian's dorm room into the back . . . sort of.

 
I still remember my first day at college (a long time ago...class of '69) and hope Brian has as many exciting opportunities as a college freshman as I was lucky enough to have.
 
Go USF Bulls!
 
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Think Camping's Not For You?

People often ask why we go to all the trouble of camping . . . setting up, bugs, rain, dirt, taking down . . . when "at our age" we could just stay in a nice quiet motel.
 
Good question.
 

I love falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean and the little tidal stream leading to it.


 I love waking up to amazing views . . . like these - of Penobscot Bay and a bridge through the woods -  both from our campsite at Searsport Shores.


I love "camp breakfasts" . . . especially since DH likes to get up early and cook them.
I love the almost spiritual connection I feel with art and nature at camp. Around every turn at Searsport Shores, for example,  there awaits an unexpected little treasure...like these little "campfire teepees" that everyone is encouraged to add to.

Or these chairs under an arbor of squash . . . just waiting for me to stop and sit in for awhile.

In the garden, there are heirloom beans...

Honeybees...

And even dresses  . . .

hanging in the trees.
 

We spend hours combing the beach for sand dollars...

Sea Glass...


and heart-shaped rocks.


Camp is a place where friends, both old and new, still sit on porches...

Take walks in the woods (daytime clothing optional!) . . .
Carolyn & Michele

And share Fried Pickles at the local Pub.
Anita & Fred


Searsport Shores is a very special campground because of its emphasis on the arts; each September they sponsor an amazing get-together or artists called Fiber College. Each week during the year leading up to Fiber College, an Artist-in-Residence is on site teaching a new craft.


This week's artist-in-residence is Steve Schreurs from Maryland, who creates jewelry, armor, and upscale clothing from chainmail . . . thousands of little metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. Here is some of his work.

He has even created a chain mail t-shirt!

And, with a red hat on, Steve does bear a striking resemblance to someone else we all know.

DH even got to try his hand at spinning (not the kind in the gym...he's got that one down...the other kind!)
 
Camping for us isn't always a case of roughing it...we're too old for that! When it rains, we climb into our cozy little Casita and binge-watch Netflix . . .
 
Or read, play a game, and blog at our teeny-tiny dinette.

And there's always shopping!
 
 Cayote Moon...a favorite stop

Belfast Farmer's Market
 
Life is a grand adventure . . .


And we don't want to miss a minute of it!
 
 
On the road again,

 
 
 
p.s. This post is dedicated to all of our amazing friends at Searsport Shores...you know who you are!
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