Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our Spring Home - Bar Harbor, Maine

We arrived here in Bar Harbor last Friday and begin settling in.  We had left the fifth wheel here last fall and it did pretty well over the winter except.... for the mice.  There was absolutely no food left in this rig that the mice would find appealing.  So why then did the little critters have a convention here?  I had washed and bagged plates, silverware, utensils, EVERYTHING and yet... they chewed through the bags to check things out.  I spent the first two days vacuuming and scrubbing everything.  We set traps and the first night I did not sleep well because I was listening for the pitter patter of their little feet.  We have not seen or heard or caught anything so I am thinking that they are long gone.  We will keep the trap set for now.
Here is the view from our campsite.  It won't last long because a month from now the campground will be full and our ocean view will be a great memory. 

Last year my friend Adria came up with this great idea for the kids at the campground.  We hide decorated rocks around the campground.  The kids find them and bring them in for a free ice pop.  She isn't here this year so I painted some rocks to get us ready.  Two dozen should get us started this season.

They aren't as sweet as the ones Adria painted last year but they will do the trick.

Here's a view of Bar Harbor from Acadia National Park.  WE drove through the park on Sunday afternoon.  The snow is pretty much gone and things are not yet greening up but spring is definitely on the way.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On The Road To Maine

We left North Carolina early Wednesday morning pointing north.  Virginia was beautiful with the trees and flowers blooming and the grass a deep rich green.  We drove through the northeast corner of  my birth state of West Virginia and stopped mid afternoon for a walk around break.  We stopped at the visitors center in the Belle Boyd house and learned about her life as a confederate spy.  The home houses a lovely little museum filled with interesting stuff.

I loved the old rope bed and cradle and the antique quilts.  So soft and warm looking.

They had an entire room filled with memorabilia from the wars.  In the health section this poster board was interesting.  It lists the warnings about what can happen with these diseases but under things to avoid it doesn't say a word about avoiding sex with unprotected partners.

Outside is the only steel roundhouse still standing in the United States.  It is closed until May but we made a note in the atlas to stop back in this town if we are here during the summer months.  Seven museums and only the visitor center one is open before May.  We had a good walk about break and made it to Scranton, Pennsylvania before settling in for the night.  Today's goal is Portland, Maine.  We put away the shorts and got out our long pants as the temperatures are dropping.  We saw the first snow piles on the ski hills in the Wilkes Barr area.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

East Pasco Quilters

Last night at our monthly guild meeting we did a mini tutorial on three dimensional fabric flowers.  Rozanne is holding the one she made.  Our little group is shrinking as so many of the ladies are snowbirds.  This is a great group  and all the gals are very dedicated and ambitious.  We have already turned in two hundred bears to our local hospital.  They are embroidered, stitched and stuffed.
We have eight quilts in line to be quilted for our Habitat  homes and the blocks completed for a dozen more to be assembled in the fall.  
The gals are working on a Christmas stocking challenge that will be donated to the winners favorite charity.  Some ladies are sewing lap quilts for the local veterans hospital  and most are also busy creating gift ideas for our next show in January of 2016. It's a great group!

Patrol Boat River (PBR) Veterans

Forty seven years ago Tom, like so many young men, was sent to Vietnam.  He was in the Navy and was part of a special division called the Brown Water Navy.  Their responsibility was to patrol the rivers and canals of Vietnam in four man boats.  It was a relatively small force of less than 4000 if memory serves.  The casualty rate was about 35 percent for this group of men. For many years after he returned home he put his memories on the back burner and was busy building a life and a family.
About twenty years ago he reconnected with some of the men that he had served with.  Every two years they have a reunion and rehash the stories and strengthen the bonds that were formed during that year in their lives.  Yesterday we had a visit from one of Tom's friends.  Out came the scrapbooks, photos and memories.  It was a very good day for both Tom and Frank.  We are looking forward to the next PBR Reunion in Savannah, Georgia in early October.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quilts, Quilts And More Quilts! Be Still My Heart!

Today I attended my local guilds monthly meeting.  Our program today featured the quilts made by the art quilt mini group.  The theme was Memories of Tampa Bay and the quilts were amazing!

Show and tell also brought us some beautiful quilts that some of the members had made.

The Feather Princess guild specializes in applique quilts and the workmanship is outstanding.  Plus you just won't find a friendlier group anywhere.

I have learned so much from this group and they have inspired me to get back to work on some projects that have been sitting far too long.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paying It Forward

When we moved to Florida I was lucky to find a rug hooking group that meets weekly at the local Humana office.  I have said before that this group is full of encouraging and very positive ladies.  Humana asks nothing from us for the use of their meeting room other than a little support from time to time for their pet projects.  Several months ago they decided to knit hats for newborns to be handed out next February during heart month.  They asked for volunteers and the ladies in our group responded in force.  Two hundred hats have been completed and turned in.  We didn't do all of them but we were a major contributor.  Thanks Humana for giving us our meeting space and for giving us a way to "Pay It Forward".
Today was my last day with this group until late July.  We leave for Maine next Tuesday morning and another summer adventure begins. My friend Marcia, (fourth from the left) who lives near Bar Harbor, has promised us the inside scoop on where to pick the best mussels and get the best seafood when dining out.  We have only two bags of lobster meat left in the freezer and I have been saving that for our son Mikes visit this weekend.  Time to go get more and fresh is always the best!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Microwave Lemon Curd

My cousin Kathy is known for her amazing Tea Parties.  She makes the best scones and little tea cakes.  She also lives in Chandler, Arizona and has lemon trees growing in her back yard.  She makes a  really tasty Lemon Curd for her parties.  The recipe is done in the microwave and takes only a few minutes.  Try it and enjoy!
Kathy's Lemon Curd
8  TBS  ( 1 stick) unsalted butter
3  large eggs
1  cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of three lemons.
In a microwaveable bowl melt the butter.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients until well mixed.  Then add the melted butter.  Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.  Stir often and continue microwaving until thick enough to coat a spoon.  Pour into sterilized jars and cover.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.  Lasts about 4 weeks in the frig and yields about two cups.
Let me know how you like it and think of my cousin when you are serving it.