Monday, May 26, 2014

First Weekend at Camp 2014

After work Thursday night Rick and I went to look at a house in Hayford Heights in Farmingdale.  Nice house, good price, but zero room to park a camper so just doesn’t really work for us.  I then went to KLFI to pick up my order of locally grown and raised food: crabcakes from Hallowell Sea Food, some chicken, sausage, greens, chives, granola, and a few other things.  Had to stop by Hannaford to supplement my local food with a few bottles of wine and some beer as well as the usual staples, and got to camp and rushed to put away my groceries as I’d planned to meet Betty in Hallowell for music by Chris Paulson at Hatties.  However, just as I put on my jacket and walked out the door I realized how much I really just wanted to stay at camp and listen to the peeper, bullfrogs, and loons, so turned around and came back in.  I texted Betty to let her know I wasn’t going to make it and invited her out to hang me with at camp and she accepted.  We had a wonderful evening; drank almost two bottles of wine and had a great chat.  Fortunately she’d brought her overnight necessities so we realized after the first bottle that she wasn’t driving anyplace. 

Friday afternoon Rick came out and we had plans to go out that night but again, the loons and peepers were calling and we decided at the last minute to stay in. Fortunately we had the crab cakes and veggies from KLFI so was able to make a delicious meal and open a bottle of wine.  Lovely night. 

Saturday I had three houses to look at while Rick went to Belgrade Lakes to talk with a guy about our cottage whose foundation appeared to be collapsing.  Thirty grand to fix it perfect and now we need to get an estimate to demolish it.  Both will be presented to any prospective buyers but it’s gonna be the cottage “as is.”  A couple of houses on the Kennebec River in Randolph were pretty sweet but one was well within the flood zone and I just don’t want to have to deal with that and the other was gorgeous with a delightful enclosed porch overlooking the river from high out of the flood plain but would take a major amount of yard work to keep it up and I don’t think Rick wants that kind of commitment in our retirement home.  We also looked at a ranch with a two car attached garage in a nice Augusta neighborhood but it was just a tad too small inside, plus it needed all the aromatic carpet replaced.  Another pass.  We figured out that was house #15 we’d looked at.  The search continues.

So we came home had a late lunch and I think we both read and napped, waking up about 7 pm to wonderment about what might be for dinner.  I had bought the makings for English muffin pizza Thursday night at Hannaford so that along with some leftover salad from last night and some nice Mountain Ale brewed in Stowe, VT made a delicious meal. 

Sunday Justin came out and helped clean up the yard and everything is looking great. 

He left and Rick headed home to mow the Belgrade Lakes house and I decided to spend my first solo night at camp.  I finished most of my book and puttered around outside for a while.  Put another crab cake in the toaster oven and tossed together some more salad and enjoyed another delicious meal. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday in Pleasantville

Got woken up by a text this morning about 9:30 (yup, 9:30) from my lovely neighbor, Christine, to meet at the point for a chat. I brought a couple cups of coffee and we sat on the rocks and caught up with each other.  She had her two sweet little four legged friends. It was a little blustery but the morning sun kept us warm.  Chris had to move on with her agenda for the day but I came back home and grabbed some more coffee and my Kindle and read and watched all the activity in our usual quiet little corner.  The town maintenance crew came and did their spring cleaning of the beach and I had to appreciate how fortunate we are to have such close proximity to the waterfront without having to pay waterfront taxes or to maintain the area.  The town does a good job on the public beach, though I have to say our shared private access point is currently pretty littered and junky from our neighbor who just doesn't know how to respect a piece of property and clean up after himself.  He's got too many toys to properly care for so his winter's ice shack is sitting out there along with the summer's 50 feet of docks, so it's a little hard to reach the rocky shoreline.  He's got a huge pile of trash and pallets stacked up and obviously plans a substantial bonfire though hopefully on a less blustery day than today.

They did a nice job cleaning up the public beach area.
Headed back across the street to our house(s).

Across the cute little bridge Rick made for us.

To hang out on the deck.

reading my Kindle and watching the ubiquitous and vocal goldfinch, cardinals, and all the other usual suspects.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New House - Maybe

We're planning to make an offer on this place tomorrow.  It's got a lot of what we've been looking for but is lacking some too.  It does have a huge two car garage but it's not attached and there's quite a bit of snow removal to do between the garage and the entryway to the house which is a downside.  Even though the house does have a second floor there are two bedrooms on the main floor so it fits our "one floor living" requirement if needed at some point.  It has great windows and is facing south so lots of sun.  It has room for a garden which was another requirement and it's only about 12 minutes to Hallowell and/or work for me.  Rick will have to drive fifty minutes to work each way but he drove from Gardiner for two years which was even farther.  

It needs some upgrades: new carpet or some kind of flooring in the main room and perhaps one or two bedrooms. Definitely needs some new paint colors on some walls.  I'm disappointed that my pottery studio will have to be in the basement but it's dry and doesn't smell so once I put down some cheap linoleum and some wall paint I think it'll be okay.  I'm hoping I can put the kiln in a closet just off the studio room so that will be an improvement, not having to take everything out to the garage to fire.  

A definite selling point is the one minute walk to the public beach which is tiny and I suspect is not heavily used. The beach is on Cobbossee Lake which connects to Cobbossee Stream where our camp is.  And it's probably just about 15 or 20 minutes drive to camp.  Or I suppose we could kayak to camp though it would require portaging over at least two dams and would probably take several hours.   

It's only about 1600 square feet so it's definitely downsizing which was a goal and will be a challenge to get rid of "stuff."  We'll get an inspection and if all goes well could probably be in it by sometime in June. Our plan is to get into that house before putting ours on the market though we may change our minds and decide to just go ahead and list ours before being completely in the new place.  Of course all of this is contingent on the owners accepting our offer . . .   

Here's the description:  Beautifully maintained cape style home near Cobbossee Lake. Desirable open-concept floor plan with vaulted ceilings provide a spacious main living area. Kitchen features gorgeous cabinets and tiled back splash. Walk to the lake!

UPDATE:  5/16/14 - we made the offer, it was accepted but the inspection revealed some issues with a very wet basement and a deck that really needs rebuilding, along with some other issues that made us decide against the property.  The search continues. . .

Monday, February 10, 2014

Friday, November 15, 2013

My 60th Birthday

Rick threw me a surprise party for my birthday.  Wow!  If he’d asked me do I want a birthday party I would definitely have said no.  I’m glad he didn't ask.  What a fun time! 

I thought we were probably going into Hallowell to meet my sons for a nice birthday dinner . . . until he handed me a blindfold and said to put it on.  It suddenly occurred to me that this probably wasn't dinner. 

So I put on the blindfold and noticed we did a 180 degree turn and were headed back to Hallowell.  He accused me of peaking when I knew we were headed back to Hallowell but come on, aren’t people who are being kidnapped able to tell you how many lefts or rights you've taken and approximately how long you drove in each direction?  J 

Anyway, I was pretty disoriented once we stopped and he took my arm and guided me to a step and an open door where someone else took my other arm.  Then the happy birthday music started and when I removed my blindfold there were 50 of my favorite people in the whole world with great, sweet smiles.  How wonderful is that? 

Rick had hired two of my very favorite bands – not one but two!!! – and a photographer.  I’ll post photos when I get them.  My dear, wonderful, talented, and creative neighbor helped him pull everything together.  Thank you Chris!  Greta provided a drum head with her own beautiful creation on the back and space on the front for people to sign.  I’ll post a photo. 

Lots of wonderful music ensued, including a rendition of Old Flames by Rick, Woody, Richard, and Jane!   I think Alfred was on drums for that one, too.  Chris Rusnov and Deb Dunn and others danced away.  I joined in a few myself with Rick, Rose, Betty, Liz, Susie, Jordy, and others.  I had to laugh when Liz was amazed that I hadn't heard about the party because, she said, everyone in town knew about it!  Good job Hallowellians – and Rick!     


Saturday, November 9, 2013

60 - wow

I turned 60 last Monday.  Wow.  60 means old.  No convincing yourself that you’re still middle aged.  60 is old.  It was really old when I was younger and though it’s not nearly as old now, it’s still old.  But, damn, I really like being 60.  I know I could stop working tomorrow if I chose to do so.  I could collect enough Social Security retirement and pension to get by.  It might mean a smaller life – spending more time at home.  In summers doing gardening, winters pottery.  But I’d be in control of my time.     

On my drive to work earlier this week I watched an older woman walking from her mailbox with the newspaper and couldn't help but think how leisurely that felt at 8:00 a.m.   I was envious that on this showery November day one might choose to stay home by a nice fire and read the local paper, maybe do all the puzzles: Sudoku, jumble, cryptoquip, and crossword.   If the skies cleared she might go out later and do a little yard work, or maybe just stay in and get lost in a good novel.  

I’m hoping to be able to build a year round home on my property on Cobbossee Stream.  Summers always see a nice breeze, great kayaking, lots of wildlife to watch, and easy access.  Winters and spring are likely to have some access issues since there’s an almost mile long dirt road but I feel like it will be a challenge that could be rewarding to face.  Stock up, stay in, find your own entertainment.  I love that . . . as long as it doesn't last 6 months.  J 

I would like to think we could take an annual trip to California to visit Jason and Adri and maybe a side adventure to Sedona, San Franciso, Joshua Tree or such. 

I guess we’ll see . . .

But so far, 60 is good.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New house

We are in the process of building our retirement home.  Our original thought had been to move our camp onto a foundation and add on.  However, the contractor we met with last week said it would probably be more cost efficient to trash the camp and start from scratch.  We'll probably get a second opinion on that but I have to admit that I rather like that idea.  So I've been searching the web for ideas of doors, windows, home designs, etc.  We're doing this on a budget so hardwood will probably be replaced with laiminate floors, and granite countertops with laminate countertops, etc.  However, I think I want to go pretty high quality with things like doors and windows.  

This kitchen is much like the one we just did at our home in Belgrade Lakes in terms of colors.  I like the painted cabinets, kitchen island, wood floors.  And it's very similar to how I see the new kitchen layout with the patio doors and deck.  

Love the ceiling.

I think this is similar to the shower we have now which works perfectly well for us.  I prefer a shower curtain over doors.
$448.00   76-in H x 48-in W x 36-in L White 1-Piece Shower

Smart technology, easy to clean, flexible, impact resistant material with touchable smooth backing
Smart Storage, wide bathing area features large shelves and deep ledges that can hold up to 16 standard size shampoo bottles
Smart installation flexible with a touchable smooth back surface for easy handling and fast installs
A tub with soothing water jets would be nice.

American Standard Cadet 6 ft. Acrylic Bathtub with Reversible Drain in White
Model # 2773.002.020 Internet # 100024978 Store SO SKU # 375520
5 / 5

Definitely need a bathtub - a good deep soaker would be nice.  
TOTO® ABY904N-01N Pacifica Acrylic Bathtub, Cotton White
Sold by:
Availability:  Usually ships in 2 to 5 days
Stock No: WGB750760

Home Decorators Collection Hamilton 61 in. W x 22 in. D Double Vanity in Antique White with Beige Granite Top
Model # 0567200410 Internet # 203103974
4.7 / 5

$1,099.00 / each

Home Decorators Collection Essex 61 in. W x 22 in. D Double Vanity in Shuffolk Cherry with Marble Vanity Top in Black
Model # 1114800160 Internet # 203704485
 Write a review Write The First Review Ask a Question
$873.99 / each

I think we want to go with a two story (well, three if you count the walk out basement below that you won't really be able to see from the entryway) cape with a two bay attached garage.

I like the extra upstairs space that a Greek Revival gives you but when you change it slightly it becomes a Gambrel and I don't really love the looks of those so much, even though they still give you the extra space.

This could be much like what ours would look like - a deck off the main floor, a smaller balcony above and a patio area below.  Ours wouldn't have that ugly set of steps off the front.  Any steps off that deck area would come off the side.  I still find this design rather ugly and would have to think hard about whether the extra space on the top floor is worth it.    

I don't really like the big roof overhang either - would rather get the sun.