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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Value of Honey

Several readers speculated about what 100kg of honey could be worth. 100kg equals 220.462 pounds. According to the “National Honey Board” the current price is $5.67/pound. So the load of honey beyond the ceiling had a total (retail)value of $1,250.02, with other words a little bit less than what the bee-guys charged to roust the bees out of the house. Of course, costs for processing the sweet stuff must be deducted. Would the value of the honey have paid for the renovations of the ceiling?  Very doubtful.



Ontario couple finds honey, 80,000 bees in ceiling

Got Bees?
I hope not, at least not the way an Ontario Couple discovered it in their house. The story comes from CBC.
The Canadian Press
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 9:38 PM ET
Last Updated: Jul 30, 2012 11:41 PM ET

An Ontario couple say they had no idea that thousands of bees had settled in the first-floor ceiling of their home in Varney, Ont.

An Ontario couple say they had no idea that thousands of bees had settled in the first-floor ceiling of their home in Varney, Ont. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

Never mind a house of horrors, this was a house of honey.

Homeowner Loretta Yates said she knew she had a "sweet mess" on her hands at her home in the small southern Ontario community of Varney, located more than two hours northwest of Toronto, when a crack in the ceiling started oozing honey last week.

"I guess with the cracked ceiling in the kitchen and the honey dripping on me — that was [the] time to get help," she said.

Loretta and her husband Kevin soon discovered the 1 1/2-storey house they live in with their 22-month-old son had a few unexpected guests: 80,000 bees nesting in two colonies in the first-floor ceiling.

Kevin Yates said he first noticed something strange around a week ago when he spotted a "blanket of bees" hovering in a thick swarm outside the kitchen door.

"They wanted in," he said.

He didn't realize the throng of bees at the doorstep were trying to do what thousands of the pests had already done — sneak themselves into the ceiling.

They couldn't get in, he explained, because it was already full of bees.

He said it wasn't long after that honey began to slowly drip from newly emerged cracks in the living room and kitchen ceilings, while a cascade of the sweet liquid even blew a lightbulb after filling it half-full of honey.

"Every hour honey would seep down to the ground on the floor," Yates said, adding he saw no bees leak down into the house along with the honey and that nobody was stung during the affair.

Yates said the couples' insurance company declined their request for help, saying the insurance policy didn't back them for bee infestations.

And a pest control company couldn't promise to get the bugs out for good, Loretta Yates said.

That's when she called beekeeper David Schuit, who with three other employees of Saugeen Country Honey on Monday took down the living room and kitchen ceilings and scraped the honeycomb loose.

It took them about six hours to get the job done, at a cost of around $1,500, her husband said.

The beekeepers captured one queen bee and recovered more than 100 kilograms of honey.

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Have a bee-free day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A huge cat on Campobello?

We were on the northern tip of Campobello when a huge cat jumped out in front of the van, crossed the road and disappeared in the underbrush on the other side. I had never seen such a huge cat before and I was immediately thinking of what a neighbour had recently told me about a bobcat roaming the island. But was it a bobcat? It was sure big enough, but it had a long flowing tail.
Back home I looked up images of cats on Google and found that bobcats do not have long bushy tails. But the Maine Coon cat has, and the cat grows almost to the same size. After reviewing those images I’m almost 100% sure that what I saw was a Maine Coon Cat. The write-up about those cats also states that the Maine Coon is friendly with kids and is a great family animal.
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Having still the image of that jumping cat in my mind I must say that I’d rather not have such a cat. What if that animal is getting cranky? It could hurt me or my dog in a most substantial way.

I think I’d stick to peaceful Molly.

As we were on our way to the Head Harbour Light Station, I was absolutely shocked when we arrived on the parking lot.

Pandemonium!

I was lucky enough to find ONE empty parking slot for the van. What was going on? Something like that I had only seen under the official Lighthouse Days in late August. Was everyone out here at the Lighthouse? In that case there would be hardly a place to stand upright.
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When we approached the edge of the rocks from where one can look down to the sandbar I saw a steady ant-like stream of people wandering across the dry sandbar in both directions.

The whole thing looked like someone had posted it on facebook: Come and see Head Harbour Light Station TODAY!

And those who were  en-route to or fro the Light Station had started to have great fun with some sort of gigantic family reunion. Tables full of food, screaming kids, dogs running wild and parents looking anxiously down the rocks to see where there young ones had gone.
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I was glad when the couple from my van were coming up the ladder again and we could leave this madhouse.

Why did it all happen today?
Maybe because we had a pouring rain all yesterday and people had been holding off on their tours. It’s just a guess, but yours is as good as mine.

Have a great evening and thanks for stopping by.
 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Gloomy Day Start but then….

 Once in a while we get those gloomy days, where we don’t know whether we will have sun or rain. Yesterday, it rained a bit, but then it stopped and the forecast spoke about sun at noon.
Whether Molly was affected by the weather or something else was a problem for her we don’t know, but she was kind of cranky and whiney in the morning. We wonder whether it could have had something to do with the fog horn we heard. More often than not the fog horn blares when a thunderstorm is in the making. Molly might have made the connection between the two and showed anxiety by that reason.

The weather men were correct, the sun got out around noon and became muggy.

I had thought to make a quick run across the border to Martha’s Home Bakery to get our favorite bread, but when I was over the top of the bridge I saw the line-up. Whew – typical summer traffic. The first wave of tourists returning to the U.S. after they have seen the Roosevelt Cottage.
Took me 40 minutes to get that bread and return home.

While I was talking on Skype to our Norwegians some 4000miles away I saw someone passing across the lawn. It was Charlie – no doubt. I jumped up knocking at the window to get his attention.

It turned out he and his wife Chris were wondering whether we would be available to come and have dinner with them. Sure we were!

Charlie is a passionate chef and it would be more than foolish not to go. And of course they are wonderful people and nice neighbours.
They have a wonderful old stylish home right on the water and we love to get down to see them.
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Yesterday evening Charlie indulged in making Thai Pad, a dish I have never tasted before and which is based on rice noodles, a beaten egg, shrimps and a lot of different vegetables. I had the honour of assisting beating the egg and cutting a lime into wedges.


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After having an appetizing snack out on their nice sunny porch, where we actually enjoyed a glorious sunset over the Passamaquoddy Bay, we had the dinner inside at their huge dining table.

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Naturally, Chris had a dessert waiting for us as well. Can you spell Lemon Pie with cream?  Yummy…..
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                                                                                                          Gazing into the Sunset

The clock was showing that we were past 10:00pm when I thought it better to say goodbye to our evening hosts. Besides, we had left Molly at home and she sure needed to get outside.

What started out as a gloomy day sure turned out to be a most memorable day her on Campobello.

Thanks for stopping by!
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“Dooby”

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Occupied or pre-occupied?

Or is it just the fact that I’m having a road block against finding something sensible to write?  It has rarely happened to me. So what is going on? Is it the fact that my thoughts are where our young business is? Am I occupied or simply pre-occupied?
I am confused as to what is what. But I guess I’m pre-occupied. That blocks out any other thoughts.
Tourism is not what it used to be like ten years ago. Had a  little chat with a long-time employee of the park the other day. He told me that tourists came over the border all the time in huge numbers – before the U.S. demanded that all travelers should have passports. Thousands of Americans and Canadians had no passport before. Why should they? Unless they went overseas or to some exotic banana republic, a passport wasn’t needed.

Besides of generating truckloads of money in passport fees for the federal government, it has hurt the tourism industry – at least here on Campobello Island, where we never get many Canadians to see the island.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Wallstreet started a recession which let the worlds economies tumble way down into the darkest basements of despair.

Do we have more troubles coming?  Look around. When was it you saw rain falling last time?

Right!

We are having a draught. The German magazine “Der Spiegel” (the mirror) has thrown out a story with pictures of American bone-dry fields, starving corncobs and wilting wheat fields. Even the dumbest guy can read the writing on the wall. It says HIGH PRICES FOR FOOD!

Dürre in West Lafayette, Indiana: Die USA erleben eine Rekordhitze.
Even out here along the coastal hills, where rain showers often are plentiful, it has been dry.
Combine that with the high gas prices (they are climbing again) and you have the perfect mix for an extended recession. Wow,- something to look forward to.
Maispflanzen in Henderson, Kentucky: Bereits 88 Prozent der Maisernte sind...
What are people doing when the cashbox is empty? They complain to the government.  HELP! I’M STARVING!

Whether there is a Mr. Obama or a Mr. Romney, it doesn’t matter, neither can fix the gas prices and neither can fix more rain coming. So everybody can just quit complaining to them. If you feel you need to let it out, take a tour out, find a lonely field or a deep forest which hasn’t yet been destroyed by a fire, and scream.
Psychologists always say it helps. And there isn’t really much else you can do, except trying to not go to Mr. Fastfood to eat another unhealthy burger.

By the way – burgers are going up in price as well.

Have a great day!


A Thunderstorm with following fog

 The night was still quiet, but when I got up it was exceptionally dark, even though it was almost 7am. Clouds had moved in over night and made this morning the darkest so far this summer. And it didn’t take long until I heard thunder rolls in the distance. Even though the Thunderstorm didn’t really get close to us, (it lasted about 15 minutes) it sure opened the flood gates for a torrential rainfall. Molly got upset again because of the thunder and it always takes some time for her to calm down again.

After the rain subsided a woolly fog moved in, obscuring the view across the Passamaquoddy Bay.

I didn’t even drive the van down to the park, as it would be futile to wait for any interested sightseers to pop up today.

Studying the news, we talk about the horrible things that happen out in the world. The shooting in Colorado on the same day when a year ago a political villain shot and killed 77 people in Norway.

And what are Canadian Reactions on the latest Colorado shootings and the debate on gun control which is losing ground in the U.S.?

CBC had an article about it today and I am reposting a few of the (Canadian)comments here.

I truly do not understand these gun loving Americans. They still act like its the wild west and the gun fight at the OK Corral or something. When are they going to get civilized and stop this craziness.
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We should not expect rational decisions from a society that believes universal health care is a communist conspiracy.
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Can anyone tell me the last time a mass killer used a knife or baseball bat...good gracious me!
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If you are living in a city with access to police within minutes, I don’t think you need a gun at all, but can still understand if someone wanted one, but like a pistol or rifle, not an automatic weapon. If you are living in a remote area where police access is very limited, I can definitely see the need for wanting a gun.
The key then is deciding which types of guns would be allowed to have, and clearly, automatic guns should not be allowed for the general public. Also, stricter controls for as to who can have a gun should be forced. Someone who has previous minor police charges should be looked at very closely and almost not given a gun. Even then though, it still doesn’t stop everyone, and there will always be instances of crazy people going nuts

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And I guess that’s it in a nutshell even if we don’t go nuts like the last commenter says.

Have a peaceful day/evening altogether!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Worth the Trip: Trekking across border to Campobello

MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM

By JOHN CHRISTIE

Although technically not in Maine -- and a passport or ID card is required for the trip -- only a few hundred feet across the bridge over the Lubec Narrows, an annual summer visit to hike the myriad scenic trails of Campobello Island has become a 20-plus-year tradition for our family.

 

Herring Cove on Campobello Island offers 10 miles of spectacular scenery for hikers and non-hikers alike. The trip to Campobello Island could become an annual family tradition for those interested in hiking as well as history.

John Christie Photo

There are two ways to get to the island, the easiest being the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge from Lubec. It's only about 10 miles down Route 189 after leaving Whiting on Route 1, some 15 miles east of Machias.

This year the bridge reached an important milestone, marking 50 years in existence as an international link.

To celebrate, and to re-emphasize the tie between the people of the mainland and the island, a rededication ceremony has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Aug. 5.

That's 1 p.m. Eastern time. Being in New Brunswick, Campobello is on Atlantic time, which is an hour ahead.

The rededication will be hosted by the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.

The other route to the island, which includes a couple ferry rides of less than a half-hour each, is one I'd highly recommend for either your trip to or from the island.

Slightly further for most Mainers, this alternate route begins in the small New Brunswick town of L'Etete, about a half-hour east of the border crossing in Calais and a short drive down a peninsula from St. George.

A free ferry runs 16 hours a day to and from Deer Island.

You'll have to drive the 12-mile length of the island to pick up another ferry that leaves every hour on the half-hour for Welshpool on Campobello.

The ferry runs from late June to mid-September, 10 hours a day.

Either way you'll end up in another country, and from the hiker's perspective, another world.

The alternatives in both the International Park and the abutting Herring Cove Provincial Park offer a wide variety of options, all easy enough for the casual weekend hiker and family, but varied enough for inveterate outdoors enthusiasts.

The International Park comprises nearly 3,000 acres, and Herring Cove Park nearly half as many again, with the most memorable feature from the hiker's standpoint being the seaside perimeter of International Park, which offers more than 10 miles of spectacular scenery.

Herring Cove Park has several more miles of both oceanfront and forested hiking.

In the International Park, the trails wind through and past natural habitats forested with both spruce-fir and a variety of hardwoods, as well as sphagnum bogs, fields and seashore.

Hikes can be planned for some of the shorter trails or, in combination, moderate to long excursions.

Several trails include observation areas and decks overlooking steep cliffs and ledges. Needless to say, caution is advised.

And if you're planning a perimeter hike, be aware that some portions of the trails that pass around points extending into the bay are covered at high tide.

Coastal weather conditions, and algae and moss, may make some of the trails, observation decks and foot bridges slippery, so be sure to wear your hiking boots.

Two short trails that aren't connected to the perimeter trail are worth visiting, one for the view and the other for a lesson in natural history.

The trail with the view is a relatively easy hike from the park visitor center to Friar's Head, a little more than a half-mile, and ends at an observation deck overlooking Eastport to the west.

I've found it to be a great spot to sight seals and the occasional whale. On a recent visit, I kayaked in the shadow of the head around some salmon pens that also appealed to a large number of circling seals.

The other short hike, also about a half-mile, is on a wooden pathway through Eagle Hill Bog, where interpretive panels explain the variety of flora and fauna. Masses of leather-leaf, sheep laurel, pale laurel and bog rosemary abound, as well as interesting shrubs that grow among the mosses.

Beaver ponds add to the scenic variety on the trail.

Your long hiking adventure will start at the Campobello Island tourist information center shortly after crossing the bridge on Route 774. It will pass around Deep Cove, out around Cranberry Point, and skirt two small bays known as the Upper and Lower Duck Ponds, named for the large numbers of ducks gathered there, and leading to Liberty Point, the southern-most tip of the island. From there, views of Grand Manan to the east are enhanced by the presence of seals basking on Sugar Loaf Rock.

Turning north along the shore, the trail leads for about 21/2 miles to Raccoon Beach, past Ragged Point and its striking Sunsweep sculpture, carved from a slab of Canadian black granite. It's a part of an international art project that includes similar sculptures in Minnesota and Washington state.

From Raccoon Beach, it's a short walk on a gravel road to link up with the Gibraltar Rock trail leading through the Provincial Park to beautiful and uncrowded mile-long Herring Cove Beach.

If you're not into hiking, newly launched Campobello Sightseeing has a van that leaves the Roosevelt Park Visitor Center at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily until Oct. 15 for an informative and interesting 2 1/2-hour tour of the entire island.

John Christie is an author and year-round Maine explorer. He and his son Josh write in Outdoors about places to enjoy the beauty that only Maine has to offer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boondocking Visitors

BOONDOCKERS WELCOME You might have seen this logo on the left menu of our blog. Well, today Leslie and Al from Rhode Island pulled in with their rig, a snuggly looking Mercedes Sprinter WESTFALIA Camper. 20ft short it didn’t cause any problems to get it leveled on our front lawn. Like us, they had signed up for the Boondockers welcome website, where campers get to exchange boondocking sites with each other. Trouble would be our motor home would hardly fit into Leslie’s an Al’s driveway in Rhode Island, but it might fit into someone’s driveway in Arizona or California.
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It is a great idea for campers who want to save money. And on top they might make new friends, like we did with Leslie and Al.

DSC_0052We took them out to the Head Harbor Light Station and were lucky enough that it was low tide so we could walk across.

Had another beautiful day and could offer breakfast for two more beach walkers at Con Robinson Point. This little feature seems to gain popularity, and it doesn’t seem so strange given the beautiful spot and the nice weather.

Now, we are expecting more nice weather coming right down our alley and hopefully it will bring more business to our new venture.

Thanks for coming over here!

  
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Humidity, Lots of Sun and Happy People

What a glorious day was running up! The humidity and the heat was gone and a fresh breeze  made my spirits running high. We started off with a beach walk and breakfast for friends on Con Robinson Point. We had a white table cloth fresh rolls, cheese, eggs and coffee all decked out on one of the Roosevelt Park’s picnic areas.
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                                                 Breakfast with a Grand View

Whoever we talked to today was a “Happy Camper”. It is obvious that most people find high humidity oppressive and enjoy a dry fresh air on a sunny day.
Indeed the air was so clear that we could see every little detail over at Eastport when we were standing on top of Friars Head gazing across the Passamaquoddy Bay.
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Molly keeping an eye out

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We concluded this nice day by having a dinner with neighbours. Bea had made wonderful chicken breasts, with stir-fried vegetables and rice. Dessert was grilled nectarines with raspberries and whipped cream. Deliciousssss!!

Thanks for stopping by again!

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     Our pickup site at the Roosevelt Park Visitor Center

 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gone Fishing (Holy Mackerel!)

A friend and partner in business invited us to come along on his boat to take some video shots. He is one of two whale watch tour operators on Campobello. So at 6:00pm we were ready at the North Wharf for a new adventure.
We were going along the stunning rocky coast, which is only broken by a few small sandy beaches. Houses and small cabins were gliding by, the owners sitting outside in the warm sea air, waiting for one of the great sunsets we usually have out here. Finally we were reaching the northern part of Campobello and in the golden sun – there was the stately Head Harbour Light Station, perched majestically of the rocks, gleaming in the golden evening sun.
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Our shipper was standing at the wheel and just seemed to enjoy the scenery and the fact that his guests had a lot of fun. Bea saw a Minke Whale, but the animal disappeared again. Seals were lounging on the rocky outcrops of an uninhabited island, and were looking curiously at our boat. We were filming and taking still pics like never before.
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On our return our shipper broke out the fishing rods. Soon most of us were holding a rod dipping and heaving away. It didn’t take many minutes, before the first one had 3 mackerels on the hooks. Over the following few minutes we caught at least 15 more fish. Alright, they were small and we let the smallest go back into the water, but at the end of the day we were looking at 8-9 nice-size fish which I could already see ending up in on our BBQ.
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The sun was now way down and we were racing back to North Wharf. The boat is powered by a 130hk Honda outboarder which sure made this boat go faster than fast.

Back home I fired up the BBQ and put the fish right on. Meanwhile Bea was cooking carrots and potatoes, and even if this meal was taken somewhat late, we sure enjoyed the delicious fish and even have a nice portion left for tomorrow.
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Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Insurance

It all began with a good thought – everybody pays a little bit and when disaster strikes our expenses are covered, a socially responsible idea which has prevented families from getting ruined by medical expenses, and it has worked in many places.

But is that still the case or has something changed?

I think somewhere along the way something went terribly wrong. Insurance companies started to be powerful and were looking to increase their business.

In their  efforts, they found a lot of help from the legal profession.
When lawyers discovered that they could make a good living by persuading people to sue their doctors and hospitals thus offering an enticing possibility to strike it rich, everybody who thought their doctor had treated him/her wrongly jumped on the bandwagon.  Of course the lawyers couldn’t have pulled it off without a lot of help from their brothers – the judges. First the judges made it possible to successfully sue a doctor out of his job by awarding 2 million Dollars for a broken self-esteem of a patient.

Poor doctors!

All of a sudden every doctor and every hospital was looking frantically for – INSURANCE.  Soon the verdicts were reaching millions. Millions of cases and millions of dollars. Wow – now we can increase our premiums, said the insurance industry.  With sky-high premiums doctors and medical facilities had to increase their charges to their patients and their health insurance companies. The endless spiral of ever increasing health costs was on.

The fact that the insurance companies were serving both the patients and the doctors turned out to be very lucrative for them.

The downside, of course, is that health insurance premiums got completely out of control. In fact many people (about 30% in the U.S.) cannot afford to pay these premiums and had to choose to live without such insurance.

Back to the pre-insurance times?

A couple of days ago I met a couple from New Hampshire. He had retired from the State but his wife was working. Why was she working? Well, their monthly health insurance premiums were 1,200.00 Dollars and was eating up his monthly pension check he got from the State.
His entire work life was rewarded by taking his monthly pension to pay for his health insurance. So, in order to live a decent life his wife had to work.

It is kind of hard to find any sympathy for a system which has so completely gotten out of hand.
Over here in Canada we know that our health system might not be the best in the world, but at least we are not getting ruined by an insurance system whose first and main purpose should be to PROTECT its customers from getting ruined.

My Dad always said that insurance companies were legalized criminals. Trouble is, we seem not to be able to live without them either.

Have a great 2. half of the week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lubec, Maine

Campobello Island is “missing” one thing – a town. The two small villages, Welshpool and Wilsons Beach transmit a character of sleepy tranquility and if one reads visitor reviews on trip advisor or such site, some people complain about the “lack of services”. It is true that Campobello has no big hotels and fancy restaurants. The island is much more focused on relaxed country living, where the visitor can do long hikes along the beach and over quiet paths in the woods.

But that doesn’t mean that we have no access to a more huzzle-buzzle-style of town living with a bigger choice of restaurants and more stores. The only thing we need to do is driving across the International bridge right into Lubec,ME.

No, Lubec is not a big place either, but it is “a town”, with a Main Street where traffic evolves along the waterfront. As you already know I like to have a look into the past and here is what I found about Lubec:

Located on a peninsula overlooking an excellent ice-free harbor, the town was first settled about 1775. Originally part of Eastport, it was set off and incorporated on June 21, 1811 and named for Lübeck, Germany. Following the War of 1812, Lubec was site of considerable smuggling trade in gypsum, although principal industries remained agriculture and fisheries. By 1859, there was a tannery, three gristmills and nine sawmills; by 1886, there were also two shipyards, three boatbuilders and three sailmakers.

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From 1897 to 1898, the town was the site of a swindle in the sale of stock in the Electrolytic Marine Salts Company, the brainchild of Reverend Prescott Jernegan and Charles Fisher of Martha's Vineyard. Jernegan claimed to have developed a method of using "accumulators" to get gold from sea water, and bought an old grist mill to turn it into a factory. The scheme attracted an abundance of investors, who were all too eager to funnel money into the company after being promised astronomical returns. In the summer of 1898, work was suspended without explanation at the factory. Jernegan and Smith vanished, and the fraud was gleefully exposed by newspapers across New England.

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Jacqueline and Robert Norton, two retirees from Lubec, were passengers on the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 11 which was crashed into the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It was allegedly Mr. and Mrs. Norton's first flight on a commercial aircraft. Robert Norton, 85, was the oldest person to die that day directly as a result of the attacks.

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We like Lubec as it is a typical small-town-USA kind of place. People are very friendly and happy about an increasing number of summer visitors, some of them showing a keen interest in buying an old house and restoring it to its old glory.

As the town is mainly built over the top of a hill it has a few steep-grade streets leading up from the Water Street. The residential areas consist of fine wooden buildings, many of them white painted and with ornate decorations. If architecture means anything to you, you’d enjoy a walk in town. Front lawns are shaded by huge old trees and white picket fences are lined up along the old curbsides.

 

Thanks for coming along!

 

 

 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Breathtaking Video Link


Instead of a posting of my own I will post a video link (I tried the video itself but it wouldn't download) for you to see. It is a bit long, but it is worth to wait for. It is about the Northern Lights in Norway.




Friday, July 13, 2012

The Heart of a Mandolinist

After yesterday’s performance at the Christian Congregational Church in Lubec,ME I am still full of music. Being more of an admirer of traditional music I’m also a bit skeptical of a program consisting mostly of contemporary pieces.

But not so yesterday.

Every piece they played was so wonderfully full of harmonious melodies that I whispered into Bea’s ear: “It is like a wonderful dream”. Quite a few pieces were composed by the performers themselves. The heart of a mandolin composer must be breathing pure harmony and peace. How else could it be that even the most recently written pieces are transmitting so much harmony?

Music is something  everybody is relating to in one or the other way. Bea and I like harmonious music. But we are fully aware of that composers enjoy the freedom of writing music expressing their own feelings. The performance we were listening to 2 weeks ago stood in stark contrast to yesterday’s as it was written when the composer was imprisoned in a German Concentration Camp. He needed to express all his and his fellow comrades misery and agony. So the music was full of heartbreaking screams and sadness. But there were no guitars and no mandolins in his pieces.
That way it was still a great experience, but it has the potential to make us feel uncomfortable.

It seems like mandolins are instruments to be used when harmony and peace is present in the players mind. People playing mandolins seem to be generally happy people, even though the range of expressions is amazingly wide. Melancholy, idle pleasure, happiness and a wild dance can be performed – but it all carries harmony as its main ingredient.

I have a mandolin myself, but I have never played it. Sadly, I never learned to play any instrument. My mandolin belonged to my grandfather and I found it 50 years ago in a hidden-away storage in my grandfather’s house. At the time it had a few colorful ribbons tied to it. All the strings were gone. I left it as it was, but could never part with it as I know my grandfather played this mandolin when he was enlisted in WWI and was confined to the trenches in France. He might have played a simple melancholic melody on it or a lively dance when he was allowed to leave the horror of war to go home for 2 weeks. We don’t know what he really played on it, but I’m sure that his mandolin gave him a lot of comfort. I know that he had a girl friend – my grandmother. They were engaged when grandmother was 16 – married a year later.
In 1914, when WWI broke out, grandpa was 18yrs. My father has a picture of him in a soldiers uniform – this mandolin in his hand.

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Grandfather’s Mandolin
  

Thanks for stopping by again!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Good Thought and OOPS…

When i read Bob’s comment on my last posting re. the sale of our MH, I thought why I didn’t think of that myself. Bob suggested to put a link to my advertising the MH into the blog. Sure, why not – so I went ahead and inserted a link to the ad. Done!

When I also did a posting on our Campobello Sightseeing website this morning something stupid happened. As I made the posting through windows life writer I forgot to change the blog identity and the posting went out on this blog. Then I discovered what I had done and deleted the posting, but alas, it was too late, the posting was already gone into the list as American-Traveler’s last posting. And I am sure some of you had already clicked on it – and nothing came up. Sorry folks, that shouldn’t have happened. But I know similar things have happened to other bloggers too.
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As for today’s happenings we released more happy customers after a beautiful sightseeing on Campobello. I have great fun watching these people getting more and more excited about being on this tour. Everyone of them has said they would never have known where to go on the island and what to see.
So that is my best reward I can get from visitors.

And tonight we will be going to yet another concert at the Lubec Summerkeys.
The performance today will be a mandolin concert. As we both like guitar and mandoline music we are looking forward to this evening.

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Thanks again for hanging in here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Can’t believe I really did it

Yesterday I drove the motor home down to the beach to take pictures of it.
This morning I assembled the pictures for an ad at the autotrader.ca
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Am I really offering our beloved motor home for sale?  Guess I am. If we don’t want to pay excessive fuel costs for the 3,500-mile stretch to California, then we have to be smart and find a solution.

Well, it is not sure that it actually will sell. And we sure won’t give it away.

I have been looking at travel trailers of the larger size. What I noticed is that many of them are equipped with bunk beds. They are made to accommodate a family with kids. We have no kids and nobody is really visiting us in the desert, so we are looking for the floor plan with a comfortable rear living room and equipped with all the goodies we are used to. We would have to get a trailer hitch mounted on the Chevy Van.

Over here we had another terrific day. The tourists are streaming across the bridge, hotels are getting booked and even we are getting customers.

Have a great middle day of the week and thanks for being curious.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

What a beautiful Day

After days with high humidity the wind switched to the North-West. The temps got down to around 72F and the air became crystal clear. In the afternoon we called a neighbour and invited them for coffee.  Strawberry ice-cream, fresh strawberries AND whipped cream (the real stuff) served on the porch. What a feast!
Afterwards we took our friends on a ride through the natural area of the Roosevelt Park.
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And, really, it has never been a more perfect day for just that. From the open convertible we enjoyed million-dollar-views. The serenity of the pristine looking beaches and forests, the endless blueness of the ocean with seals looking up to us on the view platform --- there are no words and no pictures which can describe the beauty of this afternoon.  For the first time we saw both Grand Manan ferries on the horizon. One going towards Grand Manan, the other just coming from the island. They met in the middle, then parted again.
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Dark forests and then sun again breaking into the darkness, rabbits and squirrels were bounding across the paths.
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And most amazingly: almost no other people around. What is everybody doing on this glorious afternoon? Watching TV? Eating fast-food? Gone shopping? I can’t believe that this area is not crowded on a day like this. When I look through the steel barbeques the park has set up in the many picnic areas throughout the park, I realize they haven’t been used in a long time. What a waste!
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We got back home around supper time and I had the idea of making a noodle salad and throwing a couple of nice pork chops on the grill. Good stuff and just right on a day like today.
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We think it is about time that YOU come on over to see this place. I’m sure you end up with saying: I could live here.
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