Sunday, June 29, 2014

A visit to Lili’s place in Sorrento

I’ve returned home from my trip to Maine and still have several photos to share with you. I went to visit my friend, Lili, while I was there.

I met Lili Vansluys in 2011 after talking with her for over a year online. At the time, she was writing about her life in Sorrento, Maine via her blog, Fearless Nesting, and I loved seeing her part of the world year-round. A couple of years ago, she and her husband, Henri, bought a piece of property that was for sale across the street from their home and Lili is now the proud owner of Frenchmans Bay Tea Co. which sits on the property.

DSC_0659 copy 2

She sells antiques, unique treasures and gifts, works of art, shabby chic accessories, and several lovely blends of tea. She also has a reading room in the back where people come to do research on the area. My sisters and I visited her twice while we were in Maine and I could have spent the entire day there reading, perusing the eclectic collection she offers for sale, and especially walking through the cemetery she and her husband are restoring on the property. Yes – a cemetery! (More on this later because I don’t have all the facts surrounding it). Lili, if you’re reading this, you should really do a post on it!

Here are a few photos taken during both of our visits. Some are with the Nikon but most were taken with my cell phone.


DSC_0660 copy 2


20140626_121756 copy 2


20140626_121728 copy 2


20140626_121716 copy 2

We were offered tea, which was delicious, along with little licorice candies that went surprisingly well with the hot beverage.


DSC_0656 copy 2

Outside were many garden accouterments . . .


20140626_130644 copy 2

. . . as well as hand-made pottery fired by Lili and Henri.


20140626_130102 copy 2

My friend, Lili, with two of her grandchildren – delightful little ones who were completely at ease talking with adults and being helpful around the shop. They were both very keen to meet George the dog but I think I’ve mentioned before that George has a fear of children. This is sad because he’s so beautiful and friendly-looking that all children want to pet him. But he is completely spooked by them.

We did spend quite a bit of time at the shop, however, and he eventually warmed to Lili’s grandchildren. They were so good and gentle with him and my sisters and I were very impressed with these two young ladies.


photo 4 copy 2

Lili snapped this photo of me with my ankle up the day after I injured it.


photo 1 copy 2

I could have stayed there for the entire day . . .


photogirls copy 2

She snapped this one of my sisters and I on the day we returned.

:   :   :

Thanks, Lili, for being such a gracious host.

For anyone planning on visiting the Sorrento area, a stop at Frenchmans Bay Tea Co. is so worth a visit. Take Rte. 185 S off of Rte. 1 and travel about 3/4 mile to the little shop on the right hand side of the road. And please tell Lili I sent you!

123 Signature[5]

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A drive around The Quiet Side

Good morning from beautiful Maine ~

At the request of family members, I’ve been told to keep the pictures coming. As usual, my sisters are showered, dressed and ready to go while I sit here with my {damn} ankle up, working on photos and writing a post.

Yesterday we took a drive around to the ‘Quiet Side’ of Mount Desert Island and stopped at Seawall first.


DSC_0559 copy 2

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.
~e.e. cummings


DSC_0560 copy 2

My fun sister, Charlotte.



DSC_0567 copy 2

Judy fun too.



DSC_0574 copy 2

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. ~Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, 1941



DSC_0579 copy 2

We saw idyllic scenes such as this . . .



DSC_0585 copy 2

. . . and this.



DSC_0592 copy 2

And then we came back around into Somesville.



DSC_0590 copy 2

And everyone agreed, yet again, how beautiful this place is.



DSC_0599 copy 2

We walked over the bridge (no more than 5 persons at a time!) to the tiny museum on the other side.

We then drove into Bar Harbor and I sat on a bench with my ankle up while my sisters shopped. I am still having fun, despite my injury, and am so thankful to be spending time with my family here. I bought another ‘scary bird’ for George. They don’t sell them at the gift shop on top of Cadillac Mountain anymore, which is where we bought the other two. Another company has taken over the shop up there, which used to be run by the park service. Long-time readers of this blog should remember the story about scary bird, but here’s a link just in case.

Scary bird


DSC_0606 copy 2

I thought I’d better get a shot of the toy while it was new and clean.



DSC_0621 copy 2

Because it’s not anymore.

We tried out all the other Audubon birds at the shop, and it was scary bird (the Peregrine Falcon) that George was the most excited about. He loves this toy.


DSC_0642 copy 2

After a rousing game of fetch, we perused movies to watch for the evening. Our favorite is the Jesse Stone chronicles because we all love Tom Selleck. I mean, who doesn’t, right?

Please don’t tell me you don’t love Tom.

I will never forgive you.

We watched a movie he is in with Ellen DeGeneres, Kate Capshaw, and Blythe Danner and it’s one of my favorites: The Love Letter.


DSC_0501 copy 2

I really have to run.

Hope everything is spelled correctly . . .


Thanks for stopping by ~

123 Signature[5]

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A carriage ride

My adventures continue during my vacation to Maine with my three sisters. I’m writing this post from the comfortable living room of our cottage on an overcast and windy morning. We’ve just enjoyed a wonderful breakfast made by Charlotte and are planning our day. Yesterday we took a carriage ride on the carriage roads at Acadia National Park. I know it’s a touristy thing to do, but I’ve always wanted to do it. And . . . dogs are permitted on the ride. I really don’t like leaving George out of things.

I do have one piece of advice if you are planning on taking photos during a carriage ride, though. And that advice is to sit up front. Unfortunately, my seat was in the middle and I didn’t get many good shots. But it was a wonderful ride, nonetheless.

Carriages of Acadia


DSC_0374 copy 2

I took this with one hand, raising it as high above my head as I could. For safety purposes, you are not permitted to stand during a carriage ride.


DSC_0386 copy 2

I chose the “Mr. Rockefeller’s Bridges” tour, which is a two-hour jaunt on both park and privately-owned land where we were treated to a history of the bridges and carriage roads. I’d already read up a little about it over the years and have hiked some of the carriages roads with my husband in the past.

In the middle of the tour, the ride pauses and passengers are welcomed to get off to take photos of one of the bridges.


DSC_0422 copy 2

I snapped a photo of our trusty pair of Belgian Drafts. That’s Toby on the left and Rex on the right.


image copy 2

My sister, Char, descended the trail to snap a photo for me because I’m lame. No, seriously. I am lame because I sprained my ankle on Sunday. I can’t believe I came all the way up here with all these beautiful hiking trails and am not able to do any of it. But I’m not crying into my clam chowder. The ankle is doing much better now but I really need to stay off of it as much as I can. Stupid me . . . I had just stepped off the porch to head to the fire pit on Sunday evening and the next thing I knew I was down on the ground and in a lot of pain.

Sisters to the rescue, though.


DSC_0402 copy 2

This is Ginny. I hope she doesn’t kick my ass for posting this photo.

I figure I’m safe, though. She rarely reads this blog. Ha!!



DSC_0431 copy 2

Here we are heading to the gate at Jordan Gate House.



DSC_0437 copy 2

I asked our driver’s permission to stand in order to get this photo.



DSC_0483 copy 2

Toby and Rex ~ perfect together.


After the ride, we had planned to head over to Jordan Pond House for lunch but it was so incredibly crowded that we left after driving around in vain looking for a parking spot. They have tons of seating indoors and out (and they take pets) but they were working on a road that leads to another parking area so there were cars lined up for about a half mile down the park loop road.



DSC_0490 copy 2

So we came back to the cottage and enjoyed a lovely lunch of Spinach & Tomato Quesadillas, a recipe that I’d gotten from blogging friend, Hilary.

Aw, heck. They’re all waiting on me again. So I’d better get a move on. And . . . the sun just came out!

More photos to come ~ thanks for stopping by today.


123 Signature[5]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Greetings from Maine

I am in Maine, spending a week with my three sisters and I am having the most wonderful time. The weather has been nothing short of perfection. It’s springtime here in Maine and I am loving it. And it’s so wonderful being with my sisters.

We’re heading out in a few minutes to do something fun so I’m in a bit of a rush with this post. And they’re all asking me to put it up so that their husbands can see some photos. So husbands . . . here are a few pictures.


DSC_0291 copy 2

Our picnic spot from yesterday.

Taken in Ellsworth, looking toward Mount Desert Island.



DSC_0202 copy 2

Another picnic spot.

Taken in Bar Harbor, overlooking Frenchman’s Bay.



DSC_0257 copy 2

Our cottage.

It has a fire pit in the backyard!

I’m not telling you where it is, in case any axe murderers are reading this post.



DSC_0263 copy 2

I’ll be reviewing this cottage after I return home.

It’s going to be a fabulous one, if you’re needing a heads’ up!




Much laughter going on while we’re sitting on this sweet porch.






Selfie, from L to R: Ginny, Judy, Charlotte, me.



DSC_0212 copy 2

Taken at Otter Cliffs during a visit to Acadia National Park. Sand Beach is in the background and I believe Char is trying to stifle a huge laugh.

Oh, geez. I’ve got to go. They’re telling me I only have 5 minutes and I have to brush my teeth and put on sunscreen. More to come later, my friends ~

123 Signature[5]

Friday, June 20, 2014

Maine, here we come

I am officially on vacation and am leaving early Friday morning for a week on the coast in the beautiful state of Maine. I’m going with my three sisters and of course, George.


DSC_9755 copy 2

George loves Maine. It’s where he was born . . . way back in July of 2007.

It will be so much fun to be with my sisters.

:   :   :

I’ll keep you posted ~

Pictures to come . . .

123 Signature[5]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hello it’s me

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth? I’m sorry, my friends, that I’ve been so absent. I think that, for a long time, blogging was such an escape for me. It also enabled me to connect with people and to make new friends. But I loved that iIt gave me something to do while in the same room with my husband, who was either watching tv or resting. And now that it’s just me . . . maybe I don’t need it for an escape anymore.

I still enjoy sharing my photos with you and apologize that it’s just on a weekly basis anymore. It’s true that May and early June were extraordinarily busy for me at work. Being busy is fine but when you couple it with the weekend housekeeping chores, I feel like I hardly have time to just chill.


DSC_9863 copy 2

My favorite thing to do to relax these days is to take photographs of the birds at the feeders. I’ve built this weird perching system at the edge of the patio, trying to mimic the one my husband built that was knocked down by snow and winter storms.

I have several shepherd’s hooks with flowering baskets and bird feeders hanging from them. I have two bird baths. But I also have 2 old and large tree stumps. Attached to them are a series of long tree branches, and across some of the branches, I’ve tied other branches for perches. It’s a work in progress. So – on the whole, it’s kind of weird-looking. (I’ll show you some day). But for bird close-ups, it’s nice.



DSC_9482 copy 2

There’s this, which I think is terribly cute.

The tufted titmouse really likes the fruit & nut seed mix, so when I’m taking photos,

I fill up this little seed holder. It almost looks like he’s found a friend.



DSC_9864 copy 2

A downy woodpecker.

At least, I think it’s a downy. Could be a hairy, which is a little bigger. But it’s hard to tell without the other to compare it to.


DSC_9919 copy 2

What I was really waiting ever-so-patiently for was this fellow - a red-bellied woodpecker. I can sit outside for an hour or more and catch a few good shots, but this guy waited to show up immediately after I left the patio to go back inside. I’d been waiting for him because I could hear him for quite some time in the trees. I shot this image through the screened windows of the breakfast nook which is why it looks grainy like this.


I haven’t been just sitting at home on my free time.

20140614_141509 copy 2

My son came down from NYC and we went to a family graduation party in NJ yesterday. That’s the Delaware Memorial Bridge you see there.


DSC_9699 copy 2

I also took a boat ride with friends last weekend to say goodbye to another good friend and co-worker who has retired. I’m happy for her that she’s moving to NC to be closer to her children, but sad that I won’t be able to see her as much.

And finally . . .


p20140615-143033 copyp20140615-143113

I am heading to Maine again. With my sisters this time! All four of us will be staying in a cottage I rented. I had booked with the same agency last spring because my husband wanted to go see Maine again one last time. But about a month after I booked it, he began failing quickly and I had to cancel. I couldn’t get my money back, but the realtor told me I could transfer the rental to the following year. I not only did that, but I chose a bigger place so that all of my sisters could come with me. They’re coming from California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. And I cannot wait.


I’ll keep you posted . . .


Enjoy your week, my friends and thanks for stopping by today.

123 Signature[5]