Wednesday, July 31, 2013

She Hit A Rock With A Big Bang And A Neighbour Was Helping Out

Even though the grass is growing somewhat slower now it still requires to be mowed from time to time. The day was good enough for that, the grass had dried after last nights dew and I had already done a good deal with our old no, make that “ancient”, push mower. Bea had taken over for another part when I suddenly heard a major BANG outside. At the same second the motor noise of the mower stopped.
What the h…. did she hit a big rock?  When I looked out the window I saw her scraping the underside of the mower. 10 minutes later Bea was coming up the stairs. The mower didn’t start! 

I went down to try my luck, but all I heard was a mighty clatter and then it died. There was no further signs of life in the old Tecumseh engine. It was stone dead.

Alright, we needed a new mower and quick!

While I went on the internet looking for mower deals, Bea went to the pharmacy to get her medication. When she returned she had talked to a neighbour who had told her about 2 older lawn mowers in their garage and whether I wouldn’t want to get up there to have a look.

I grabbed the gas can and was gone in an instant.

Her is what I found:
It started right away after I had filled up with fresh gas. It has a Briggs&Stratton engine and by Golly they are good – as long as you don’t hit a rock. My offer t
o buy the thing was declined. I could either just take it or it would remain in the garage. Talk about having super nice neighbours!
Want to know the real good part of it?  It is actually self-propelled. It does run by itself and we don’t have to push it uphill like the old ancient one.
Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boondockers Goodbye

It all started with the bluest sky you can imagine. The air was still morning-fresh, and Pete and Sherri were busying themselves around their rig. We knew they would be leaving today.
They came as strangers and left as friends. What a wonderful thing this Boondockers Welcome really is. Last night we had a last dinner together and kept talking until dusk settled all around us and mosquitoes started moving in. Their lights went out shortly after, and I knew they planned for an early departure tomorrow. So we didn’t sit much longer either. I’m getting tired quickly when a day is over.
Well, we got clouds and a few sprinkles of rain later, but it remained a nice Sunday. Fired up the Weber in the evening and had us some good Brats with home-made potato salad and garden-grown veggies. Forecast for tomorrow speaks of rain – we’ll see. Hopefully it isn’t getting that bad as on Friday when St.Stephen received unbelievable 160mm (6.5inch) News had it that several basements in town needed to be pumped out. It occurred to me that we’d been pretty fortunate out here, and after all the water runs out into the sea without causing damage. That is we don’t count Bea’s beautiful Peonies. Their flowers just died in the rain and there’s nothing left of them.

Take care and thanks for stopping by again!

                                                                                                                      Time to say GoodBye  

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Three Ladies From Texas

I was pretty much all set to spend the day indoors today. The rain was coming in sheets filling buckets in a record speed. But then the telephone rang. It was from the local Motel. They had three ladies who wanted to get on a sightseeing tour today. 

I looked out the window and all I could see was the street and the nearest house. But of course we won’t let 3 ladies being stranded in a motel room on a rainy day, so we agreed upon a time where I would meet them in front of the visitor centre at 12 noon. They had booked the “Tea With Eleanor” in the Hubbard Cottage at 11a and probably would be done by noon.

As I pulled up at the visitor centre a couple minutes short of 12 the rain had just intensified sending down gallons of fresh water. My van was standing in a little lake. People hustled in and out of the building, they all got wet feet.

I had the engine running to keep the mist off the windshield. Time was crawling by but nobody showed.
Finally I stepped out getting my feet right into that lake. I was going to ask at the reception counter whether they were done with the tea at the Hubbard Cottage. Apparently they were not, so I decided to take the van around to the Hubbard Cottage to possibly pick them ladies right off the door. If they would walk that distance they would look just like coming from a swim in the ocean.

Sure enough, just a minute after me arriving at the house they stepped out from the doorway ready to clamber aboard.

I took them on our usual route, but leaving out Friars Head Viewpoint. There was simply no point to get them up there as they would just be standing looking at the dense rain.

When we finally had made it to Raccoon Beach I told the story of the round rocks – and showed them a few I keep at hand. Their eyes caught fire and before I knew it, the first one was out the door heading towards that stairway down to the beach. And the next one followed right after. The oldest lady, however preferred to stay dry – what a wise person!
For me there was nothing else to do but to follow after them.  After all one of them could slip and fall on the wet steps.
Before I ever reached the top of the stairs the first one was out between the rocks heading right for the waters edge. We had a hefty swell today and waves were crashing onto the beach. When I finally was on the beach, my pants were soaked to my skin. Quickly i found a few round rocks and brought them over to the two explorers. I could tell that they had all intentions to spend the rest of our tour looking for rocks, but finally I hustled them back up the stairs. They deposited their treasures in their hand bags and off we went to see what else we could do to keep the girls happy.

Later we all had lunch at the Golf Course, me, I took only a piece of pie with ice cream and a coffee. It was still pouring down when we were done an hour later, but the show had to go on.

After more than 3 hours I dropped them off at their car in the park. They carried their beach treasures to their rental car and I just hope they’ll find room for it in their flight baggage.

It’s Pouring Down And A Few Pictures

They had predicted lots of rain and boy did we get it. The inlands of New Brunswick are expected to receive about 90mm (almost 4 inch!) while we might be looking at a little less than the half. It is such a blessing that our house stands high and on slightly sloping ground. Our basement has a drain, so whatever runs in runs out. I can hear the steady hum of pelting rain outside. The sky is dark, our boondockers who have enjoyed themselves tremendously are still sleeping in their camper, and I’m just considering a second mug of coffee.

Yesterday ended with a mini potluck, Sherri had made a delicious chilly and Bea had prepared a spaghetti-squash. Instead of staring at a TV, we look outside and a mighty fine show is going on. SUNSET OVER EASTPORT
We have probably hundreds of sunset pictures, but everyone sunset is unique and triggers a new series of pictures. I will keep it short today and instead let the pictures speak.





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Flowers, A Wonderful Walk Along A Historic Beach And Boondockers Stopping By

It isn’t really summer without the great show of summer flowers blooming all along. We both like to gather wild flowers and stick them in a vase, much to our delight and visitors. It is the wild beauty of these flowers, moving their colorful light heads in the breeze off the sea, which makes our thoughts back in time to summers long gone.
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We were kids and it was some year early in the sixties, that my parents decided to take a 2 week vacation not far from our town, but out of the way of every day’s hassle. We were camped in a white home-made tent behind the dike. All around us was a blooming meadow. We gathered flowers and brought them “home'” to mother who put them in a jam jar on the rickety camp table we had. Our parents were so young – much younger than we are now. Behind the dike was the oh-so-wonderful beach. We had no boat at the time, but we built sand castles, little harbours near by the surf, where we let our little plastic boats swim. It was paradise for sure. We never had any worries, the sky was blue and behind the campground were cows grazing in the fields.
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Just a memory now – and I wouldn’t want to be without.
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One of these past evenings I took Molly and walked the beach along Friars Bay. It’s a beach on the bayside – not on the open ocean. Lots of driftwood here and all kind of stuff coming with the tides. We walked on and on and before we knew it we were just down below the famous Roosevelt Cottage.
The cottage itself was visible between the trees. There was the porch where the Roosevelts once had been sitting. Eleanor had been standing on this porch with the big megaphone, calling out across the bay after F R A N K LI N, when he had forgotten to get home in time and was still on his sailboat the “Half Moon”.
It is said that this megaphone would carry her voice 1 mile across to Eastport.
They sure didn’t need cell phones in those days. In fact they didn’t even have a landline in those days. Campobello had only one landline, and that was installed in the general store at Welshpool. Whenever there was a call for the Roosevelts, a messenger was sent to the cottage from where they (mostly Eleanor) got on a bicycle and biked a good mile up to the village to take the call. It was at this beach Franklin D. Roosevelt was carried across on a stretcher in 1921 when he had contracted a paralytic illness, which was thought to be Polio.
Yup – those were different times.

At about 4pm today our boondockers arrived. They are Sherry and Peter from the Florida panhandle. They are travelling in a might fine looking bigfoot truck camper pulling a little car behind. They are “Escapees” and like all the other Escapees we have met wonderful people. It didn’t take long until we were all seated on our porch talking about all our crazy camper adventures. We hope they will stay a few days. Bea and I agree that there is no better idea idea than letting boondockers stay on our property. Everybody is just so friendly.

Thanks for stopping by boondockers!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Still Coping With A Strange Language And We Get Visitors

Emails have been flying back and forth and most recently I even got a small package from Finland or “Suomi” as they call themselves. Indeed the national abbreviation is SF, meaning Suomi-Finland. Google is trying it’s best to translate these long words, but like today, I had some difficulties getting the hang of it. But I manage – somehow.

In a few days we will be getting visitors through “Boondockers Welcome”. If you got a spot on your lawn to let someone stay for a coupla nights, we can just recommend this. It’s a great way to get to know people.

Our weather has been mostly nice. Yesterday, a huge thunderstorm was moving along the mainland – but never touching Campobello. It started rumbling in the afternoon, the sky turned pretty dark and in the distance, towards Eastport, we could see sheets of rain coming down.
Boats were rushing towards the harbour.
Unfortunately the New Brunswick town of OROMOCTO was hit by a tornado.
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Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Traditions --- Do We Live Them?

I have reached an age where most people get more settled in their ways. And it has taken me a lot of settling time over the years. I was always known as the guy who couldn’t sit still, who always had a “couple of irons in the fire”, and I guess there are still a  few irons in the heat. But that’s one thing. An entire different thing is what I call thoughts of future and tradition. Did I ever had those thoughts when I was – say 40yrs?

I had not.

Now it has occurred to me that I have spent a lot of my daily routines on inherited traditions – without ever been aware of it.
My parents – who these traditions are originating from, had a set of living that I unconsciously have taken to my heart.
There is f.ex. the daily afternoon craving of having a cup of coffee, preferably with something sweet. I am just feeling not entirely happy if by some or the other reason, this has to be cancelled.
Or take my idea of eating a boiled egg. I derived it from my parents. They cut of the top of the egg with a knife, then took the spoon to peel the white of the egg out of it. They always used an egg glass for the egg. They sprinkled some salt on their plate and dipped the moist spoon with its back into the salt before they dug out another piece of the egg. Bea has been watching this procedure over the past 26 years with never-ending amazement. I just can’t imagine to eat a boiled breakfast egg any other way.
After I get up in the morning I need a breakfast. The thought of hanging around all morning to have breakfast run into lunch hour is disgusting. I might hang out with a cup of coffee for 30 minutes but then I NEED to eat. Just as the old folks did.
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I was never a night bird. I go to bed when I feel tired and that is at a certain hour. If something or somebody forces me to stay up longer – not good. My parents always went to bed at the very same hour.
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I can’t imagine any Sunday without a special Sunday dinner. My inherited tradition is making me wish for that dinner.

At Christmas it becomes even more apparent. Though I must say that all our travels to the south have modified my personal Christmas experience a lot. But you should have seen our first Christmas in the south. Our 5th-wheel was turned into an illuminated Christmas palace - the effort to make me forget that it was actually 70F outside at night with no snow around in the weather forecast.
I have to grin when I think of all this. But I guess our traditions are providing us with a frame we can live within and feel safe. Maybe there is a bit of the truth when we hear about all crime and violence in our society, that the perpetrators often are people without roots and a safe home during their youth.
Like also Bea I am feeling a lot of pleasure when looking at a blooming garden. I grab my camera and start taking pictures. Looking across the flowers moving in a slight breeze I feel the summers that I had when I was a boy. My grandparents maintained a stunning garden. It was very beautiful and I loved it dearly. Another tradition!
Thanks for stopping by!

A Short Power Outage, A Muskrat And A Spike Of Gas Prices

Was it yesterday or the day before…? I don’t seem to remember, all I know is that I had just gotten my coffee and plumped into my chair, when the lights on my laptop went out. “Oh well”, I thought. probably the plug slipped out of the receptacle when I moved my chair. 

Not so!

I checked and rechecked and there was no power. Went back to the kitchen – but no power there either. There just wasn’t any thunderstorm around, nor any wind at all. In fact it was about to become a beautiful summer day. But the power was gone. No computing – no blog reading.

Consequently I rigged up the HONDA 2000, fed a cord into the house and both the telephone and the internet started up again. We also rigged up our cook stove and got our breakfast cooked.
I called the power company and the automated message said that they were aware of a power outage in our area. 20 minutes later I saw my neighbour leaving. I runs the grocery store – the village mart and sure was worried about his freezers.
However, the store still had power. And a couple of hours later we saw the truck of the power company roll up our street. They restored power within 3hours flat.

I was still standing out on the porch, when I saw a cat moving stealthily across the lawn.

A cat?

It moved somewhat strange. Humpback-style.  Huh….??? That was no cat alright. Seemed like…… a beaver?  What the heck - where was that animal coming from. But the tail seemed strangely thin….. It took me until today to figure out that what i had seen was a muskrat. While that animal crossed our lawn, Molly was on the porch and apparently had not neither seen it nor gotten the scent of it. I was anxiously watching her, but remained where she was. Good dog!

Tradition true we woke up to news that the gas prices had done a huge jump in New Brunswick. Max. price was now $1.36/liter!  That amounts to $5.14/gallon.
I drove over to Lubec to fill up the tank on the van and there the price was $3.69/gal. It had gone up 10 cents on the gallon, but the price difference between New Brunswick and Maine was now about 30cents on a liter. Our nearest Canadian gas station is about 60 miles away, so we don’t bother much with Canadian gas prices. It’s just so typical that BIG OIL does that to everyone during the heyday of vacation time.

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Bea’s vegetable garden

Meanwhile, Bea’s garden is thriving and about to supply us with potatoes, peas, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers and different sorts of herbs. She spends a lot of time in between her veggies. I like that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heat Wave Over Campobello

Never have we experienced temperatures above 40C (100F) but today it happened, and it is not yet over: Further heat is building up tomorrow. Facebook messages are full of : “I’m down on the floor” or “I refreshed myself under the garden hose” or “HELP…I’m melting”. 
imageI mean this place is generally known to be of the cooler kind – actually the reason why many Floridians find their way up here. Well, these days they won’t find much refreshment, unless they jump into the still cold ocean. I tried the “trick” with the garden hose myself, but found out that the water was too hot on the body – until most of the solar-heated water had gone. Afterwards I sat down on our shady porch in hope to catch a breeze, which there was extremely little of. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the whales hopping out of the water in pure desperation.

Didn’t get around to take any pics – it was just too strenuous to achieve.

image Facing this heat it sounds like a cooling breeze to think of the 1. Annual Campobello Fog Fest coming up on August 2-4. FOG FEST??  Yep, we are gonna have fog fest soon.  If you like music, just come on over. There’ll be lots of good food as well.

And now I will retire for today. After all it’s Monday – time to look forward to next weekend.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Humid Heat Is Gone For Now

 Drawing3 After a couple of days with an incredible humidity we woke up to a clear day with a slight northern breeze taking away all the haze and fog of yesterday. It sure is a feeling like being “born again”. Yesterday’s guests from St.Andrews came over to see the Roosevelt Cottage. I had been waiting at the shore for more than an hour. The boat was delayed, the fog so thick that one could hardly see the buoys just a 100yrds out. Our captain had to rely on the radar system entirely.

A change in the weather like this does happen here from time to time. Guests arriving today from the U.S. will have the tour of their life with incredible views.
The best of it all is that the weather man predicts this kind of weather way out into the next week. Let’s just hope it will hold.

Monday, July 8, 2013

When The Day Starts At 20C (68F)

It was only 7am when I looked at the outside thermometer. What I saw is extremely rare on Campobello. It showed 20C (68F), but it felt like it was way higher. Over the last 4 days temps have been climbing higher and higher and created an almost tropical environment. I was reminded of Florida when I had picked up our van in May. All this heat did go along with very calm wind conditions. So yesterday was our hottest day so far and even at 10pm the temperature was still 22C (almost 72F) What was it in the afternoon? It was 28C (82F) and sure felt like 36C (97F)

When I met one of our customs officers at the gas station he told me he wouldn’t swear over the heat for at least 3 days. So I figured he enjoyed it.

But it sure caused me to skip a few days of blog writing.

Of course, all this warm weather has made the lawn grow, and yesterday I took the push mower and started on the piece behind the house. It was late in the afternoon and I thought that if I walked slowly I would manage, but when I was all done 30 minutes later I was soaked to the bones. Had to refresh myself in the shower right after.

As of this morning some of the heat has gone, pretty dark clouds have moved in and it just started to rain. Even the wind has picked up a bit. Looks to me that we might be in for a couple of thunderstorms soon.

As long as it doesn’t scare away the guests I’d be happy about it. But it sure cMuholland--miaused me to skip a few days of blog writing.
Molly had also a hard time as her fur is still thick; so I took her to the beach to cool her off. As soon as she saw the water she was wading up to her little belly.
A slight cool breeze came off the water and we sat down in the shade of a cliff for a while. Molly was sifting through all kind of “seafood” and I actually saw her munching on dried seaweeds. Strange dog!

I hadn’t taken the camera along, wish I had though as it sure makes for a nicer blog posting.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Friday, July 5, 2013

And Then We Got The Fireworks

Our house has a good location to observe the fireworks on the American Side  at Eastport, ME.
All we have to do is really only sit on our elevated deck out from one of the bedrooms and take it all in. Even though it was beautiful to watch we think that there goes a lot of money up which probably could have been put to better use. But we also understand that a National Day is a good reason to do just that.

We had rigged ourselves up with our NIKON on a tripod and sometimes I just held my trigger finger down for several seconds, thus producing 10-15 pictures in rapid fire fashion.
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