Back to Five Islands

March 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

Well, we made it back to Five Islands late last month just in time for an early spring. While we’re happy to be back in our little cottage on the rocks, it was very difficult to say goodbye to our dear friends back in Maryland/DC/VA.

When we came up here for the initial six months, we fully expected to return to life in Silver Spring in January. So, while we missed our friends and neighbors, we were enjoying the adventure of a temporary Maine life. But, as plans are wont to do, ours changed along about December, and we made the decision to move to Maine indefinitely.

We went home to Maryland in January knowing that we would be packing, storing, or tossing 20 years worth of stuff and preparing for a real move. All this corresponded with our busiest period of paid work since we started our business about 14 months ago. So that last couple of weeks in Silver Spring was incredibly busy and stressful. In fact, I’m not sure we would have survived the move without help from Tom, Sandy, Charlie, Jim, and Shelley, who either helped us pack or rode along and unpacked at this end.

We packed in several lovely evenings with friends before the departure. I shed many tears as we said our goodbyes. Frankly, I was a blubbering mess. And it wasn’t just the people. I realized how much I do love that old house on Thayer Avenue, not to mention Thayer Avenue. But I am confident that we’ll be back there at some point, and we’ll be spending quality time with our friends during frequent visits to DC. And of course, they all know there is a lovely guest room waiting for them in Five Islands, not to mention a cocktail or two.

So on to the next adventure. Maine, what have you got in store for us?

Within days of our return, the biggest snowstorm of the winter dropped 10 inches on us. It was a lovely, dry, sweepable snow that melted within a couple of days.

Within days of the big snow, the sun was out and the temperature was up to almost 60 degrees. One morning I spotted a bald eagle flying over the river in front of our neighbor’s house. I went out to see if I could get a picture and spotted two adults on a large nest on Hen Island. The nest is too far away for me to get a good picture of the pair, but I can see them well with my binoculars (the perfect Christmas gift: thanks Robert). Here’s a shot of Crow Island. The nest is in the top of the tree behind the house (which is actually on Little Crow). In the shot below this one, if you look closely, you can see a white spot in the nest. That’s the eagle’s head.

It’s been fun keeping tabs on the pair. Yesterday one of them landed on the osprey nest that sits atop a platform in front of Little Crow. It seemed to be eating a fish and I ran for my camera, only to find the battery completely dead. Doh!

The dogs are happy to be back in Maine. Boogie is in his element. He loves being off leash and running around in the woods looking for chipmunks and red squirrels. He is perpetually ready to play. I see a trip to Reid State Park in his near future.

And the full circle of life plays out right here on Lewis Road. Since we’ve been back the cats have killed two mice. The last kill was particularly gruesome, so I’ll spare you the details. But suffice to say these two are brutal. Here’s Olive recovering from a night of mouse hunting. Trust me, she’s ferocious.

Okay, my camera is poised to capture some new adventures in Five Islands and beyond. I’m pretty excited about Maine Maple Sunday on March 25th when we get to visit sugar shacks, see how they make maple syrup, and sample the results. Maybe I’ll pick up a jug or two.


White Christmas

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Christmas morning we awoke to “sea smoke.” It’s what happens when the air is much colder than the water below. Stunning. Then the snow started mid morning, just for Katy’s birthday. It was another beautiful, gentle snow, only about two to three inches in total. Enough to make everything beautifully white. Mark and Katy were visiting and Mark made great use of his new fancy camera. All the photos below were taken by either Mark or Katy.

The day after Christmas was gorgeous, sunny and bright. We took a drive off the island to Brunswick for lunch. Sewell Pond on Arrowsic was frozen and several ice fishermen were out there catching fish called black crappy. We ventured out onto the ice for some quick pictures and then made a run for the shore.

On Tuesday, Mark, Katy, and I took a drive up the coast to Rockland. We stopped along the way in Damariscotta to see the Whaleback Shell Midden. Had a nice lunch at the Thomaston Cafe. Stopped at the Owls Head Light. Saw the trap tree in Rockland. And ended the day at the Olson House in Cushing. A wonderful outing.

Perfect Snow Day

December 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

I woke up this morning to a beautiful snow. Big, fat flakes falling slowly. It snowed steadily all morning, leaving about an inch and a half covering everything. But now it’s already melting, so no hassles with shoveling or plowing. I took a walk down to one of our neighbors’ docks as the snow came down.

Crow Island in the snow







Autumn in Maine?

December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

The weather has been absolutely amazing for weeks now. Today, the 5th of December, was 50 degrees and sunny. We’ve had days in the low 60s recently. I thought I would share some miscellaneous shots from our walks over the last week or two. Each lovely day seems like a gift, as we’ve been trained to expect horrible weather in Maine by now. Maybe people have just been spreading rumors about Maine winters to keep the rabble away.

The one exception to the warm weather came a couple of days before Thanksgiving. A storm dumped about 6 inches of snow in Bath and more west of us. Fortunately, there was no snow to speak of in Five Islands and we didn’t lose power. But when we went to dinner on Thanksgiving day, we were shocked to find a winter wonderland only a few miles up the road from us. Dinner at the Squire Tarbox Inn was great by the way.


Gourmet kitchen in the works

March 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Well, yesterday we actually put together two of the most difficult cabinets, the corner cabinets with lazy susans. Then we gave up and went to dinner in Bath. We didn’t get as much cabinet building done as we hoped to. Consequently, Robert thought we’d never finish the cabinets before heading home tomorrow. But, alas, we were a cracking great team today and completed the other 7 cabinets! Check ’em out:

Kitchen cabinets coming together

A few shots of the new windows from the inside:

Kitchen windows facing Lewis Road

Kitchen windows facing driveway

Looking into the great room from the kitchen

I am thrilled with all the new windows in the house. The interior sashes are wood and the exterior are a color called sandtone, a sort of gray brown. I am so glad I opted for the sandtone instead of white. Right now the trim around the windows and doors and all the corner boards, etc., is white. But that’s just until we have them painted in the spring. I’m thinking about a sage green for the trim, a color that will work with the sandtone, and maybe red for the doors. Inside, we’ll leave the window sashes as they are I think.

Anyway, we took a break from cabinet assembly to have a little lunch and a walk down to the dock. Five Islands was quiet, but not dead. There are still some year round folks coming and going. There is snow everywhere, what some might call a winter wonderland (and others might call a slushy, salty, sandy mess).

Lewis Road

Lewis Road neighbor

Perhaps the highlight of our little stroll was the flock of ducks down at the dock that were downright pushy. They rushed us as we rounded the corner onto rt. 127.

Someone has clearly been feeding these ducks. They are very demanding, so much so that Robert felt obliged to go back to the house and get them some bread. While I waited for his return, the ducks eyed me menacingly.

Where is our food?

After our walk, it was back to work. We finished the rest of the cabinets by about 6:30 p.m. We felt such a feat deserved a nice dinner out, so we went into Bath for a meal at Solo Bistro, our favorite local restaurant. It did not disappoint. More on our latest adventures tomorrow.

Windows and doors going in, despite 16 inches of snow

January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Bath got 16.5 inches of snow last week in the second big storm of the season. Thankfully, the power didn’t go down in Georgetown. Bob and his crew don’t let a little snow get in their way. They were back out there installing more windows and the new sliding patio door. Here are two pictures from Bob.

Bob put the two windows on the street side in the right place. Looks great.

Two new windows in new downstairs bedroom

The sliding patio door is on the driveway side and will be the main entrance to the house. One day, there will be a screened in porch off this side of the house.Preparing for the new sliding patio door

New sliding patio door


Slider from the inside


New roof stands up to the big storm

December 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Bob sent me some pictures of the new roof and trim this morning. Despite the very high winds yesterday, it held up just fine. The scaffolding around the chimney is for the mason, who will come later this week to build a brick surround to cover up the cinder blocks.

Street side of house after snow

Street side with new trim along roof line

You can see the new trim around the A dormers and along the roof line. Very nice.

And along the gable end of the house nearest the driveway.

I also spoke to our neighbor, Rich Start, this morning. He said they got about 8-10 inches of snow, not as much as predicted. But the winds were dangerously high. He said they are feeling lucky not to have lost power.

And I just ordered our first oil tank fill up. I can’t wait until we can enjoy the benefits of second home ownership and not just the expenses.

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