St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery is in Bloom!

It’s been a spectacular Father’s Day weekend! My father came up Friday and left early this morning. We went out to brunch at Inn By the Sea yesterday and then took him out to a steak dinner last night. We thought the first day of outside seaside services at St. Ann’s was going to get rained out but the weather pattern changed at the last hour! It was a beautiful albeit chilly service after which we went to the Franciscan monastery in Kennebunk to witness the beauty of the Rhododendrons in bloom. It was like a fairyland!

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Perkins Cove, St. Peter’s By the Sea, Walker’s Point

This morning we attended services at Saint Peter’s By the Sea in Cape Neddick now that the summer chapels are opening for the season. Next week our beloved Saint Anne’s will be opening where we’ll attend services all summer. So excited! I dream about it all winter. We stopped at Perkins Cove in Ogunquit on the way to church:

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Visit to Carlisle Academy Integrative Therapy & Sports

During coffee hour after church a few weeks ago I was speaking with Kate Chappell about her daughter, Sarah’s horse therapy farm in Lyman, Maine. Kate mentioned that one of the things the farm offers are programs for people with PTSD! I have often dreamed of one day operating a little animal therapy farm for traumatized youth so I was immediately fascinated. The offerings are extensive and include organizational/leadership development, team retreats, hippotherapy for people ages two and up with a diagnosed emotional, physical or cognitive disability and riding lessons to the general public.

Kate was so kind to arrange with Sarah (pictured above) an opportunity for me to visit the academy and share it with you here on my blog. My post is focused on the equine enrichment groups and working farmscape education tailored for at-risk youth and young adults, senior citizens, veterans and people in early recovery from addictions.

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Beautiful Maine Made Cotton & Wool Blankets

Many of my long-time readers know how much I love vintage linens and changing up our bedding to create different looks. I broke from tradition last fall and bought a new (as in not new old stock but NEW new) wool blanket online that was made in France. Other than being a drab color like most every wool blanket on the market it seemed nice enough until I realized that the French on the label said it had been mothproofed! I do NOT want to have a chemical-treated blanket against my skin! I sent it back.

Wayne and I took a ride up to Freeport last weekend to buy him a few things at Brooks Brothers. Afterward we stopped in the Maine Woolens outlet. I had never been in it before and assumed they were selling ubiquitous made in China blankets perhaps with added kitschy lighthouses or starfish on them. I was not anticipating the wonderful surprise inside!

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Waterfall Trail Hike At Fuller Farm

It was a cold morning with temps in the 40s and the sky was overcast, however we joyfully navigated mud, snow and ice to see a seasonal little waterfall that’s tucked in the woods. The thing is, we hadn’t planned on the snow and ice…or snakes! Even so, nature put on a beautiful show.

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Maine Maple Sunday at Merrifield Farm

Spring is here! Today is Maine Maple Sunday which means there are about ninety sugar houses throughout Maine that are open to the public. We went to Merrifield Farm in Gorham which is like a maple syrup paradise where we sampled maple syrup over vanilla ice cream and watched maple syrup being processed.

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A Degree of Mischief at University of Vermont

The college admissions scandal has highlighted what some have referred to as “affirmative action for the wealthy.” As I mention on my “about” page, I grew up in subsidized housing but went to an Upper East Side prep school with the aid of a scholarship. My freshman year of college was spent at Bennington College, also via scholarship before transferring to the University of Maine in Orono. It was too painful for me to be the kid from the wrong side of the tracks in places where the vast majority of students came from very wealthy homes. 

Then, once at grad school at UVM I lived in a tiny house in the woods complete with big spiders* (steel-toed Doc Martens are a form of organic pest control) and was fortunate to have been awarded an assistantship for two years which paid my tuition in full and gave me a small stipend. However, that also meant my days began at 5:00 a.m. and I didn’t get home sometimes until 10 at night. Even so, my most valuable life lesson learned wasn’t a part of my curriculum, but in a playground.

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Nellie’s “Certified Humane” Eggs?

Two years ago in the early spring I blogged about buying beautiful pullet eggs (shown above) from a local organic farm in my town. Off-season we’ve been buying “Certified HumaneNellie’s “Free Range” eggs. I decided to Google Nellie’s just now and am so disheartened to see this report about the cruel conditions of the chickens. I will never purchase Nellie’s eggs or trust the “Certified Humane” label on eggs again! (Update: check out this link “American Humane Scam” featuring Bob Barker!) It can be so hard to make informed food choices when we can’t even trust the “certification” labels! All the more reason to buy from trustworthy sources when the trustworthiness can be verified by you. Of course if you can realistically, affordably and humanely raise your own, that is ideal!

Simple Living New England

Yesterday I took a trip to Frith Farm in Scarborough to buy some organic pullet eggs. It was a fun mini-adventure!

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