14 Day Quarantine for Tourists in Maine?

Wayne is a good sport for letting me post this vintage early 1980s photo of him at Cape Elizabeth’s Lobster Shack. He said they provided these signs for tourists, which he was not. Anyway, looks like there may be some changes to the current mandated fourteen day quarantine for people wanting to visit Maine this summer! Read more here.

“No Refunds”? This Thrifty Yankee Says Otherwise!

Have you noticed that since Covid hit many businesses are implementing a “no returns/refund” policy? A local grocer that’s part of a major international chain implemented a no returns and no refund policy for their curbside pickup service “due to CDC guidelines.” What? Just stop. The CDC never said nor do they have the authority to tell a business they can’t process a refund if you receive rotten fruit or spoiled meat. Of course it shouldn’t be expected that you would return gross or dangerous food you’ve handled back to the store. No way would I give them my business unless it was the only option. Fortunately Whole Foods delivery has a fantastic refund policy. As an example this morning some of my eggs were broken. Instant refund.

There are times when it’s unreasonable to expect a refund such as for vintage items purchased online or at yard sales. You can’t blame a seller for the 8 track they just sold you getting eaten by your 8 track player. 

This post is about the thousands of masks in the online marketplace that explicitly state a no-returns or refund policy. I challenged that policy when Wayne received a defective mask. Here’s what happened.

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Pandemic Flower Power, Parties, Pizza

May hasn’t been very gracious. Saturday temps were in the 30s with blustery winds, snow and rain. Sunday was sunny but still cold.

When the going gets tough, the tough get groovy. I decided that I wouldn’t let the boorish behavior of some clouds and weather patterns get us down. I threw two parties for two, the first of which was late Saturday afternoon right before the Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.

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Thrifty Gardening: Repurposing Old Things

For the first time since mid-March I went to a store. I knew it would be different, but it was exceptionally unpleasant even though it was a plant nursery. The locally owned nursery from which we usually buy our vegetable plants and offers home delivery or curbside pickup didn’t have the two tomato varieties that are our favorites–Lemon Boys and Beefsteaks, so I went to Lowe’s. Although the nursery is mostly outdoors they forced people to first walk through the store instead of directly entering. The woman at the register was not distancing from me and they aren’t set up so that you still have to use the gross stylus pen to approve the purchase, something that has grossed me out long before the pandemic. A chipmunk popped out from nowhere as I was paying so that helped me feel more at peace. Also it was very windy so my nose began to run underneath my mask!

OK, enough whining. Here are a few ways I’m reusing some old things laying around for gardening tasks!

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Kindness Sent to the Land Of Chipmunks and Sudden Snows

April was a tough month for so many reasons, the weather being one of them. We broke a record of 79 years with not a single day above 60 degrees! It was mostly highs in the forties and low fifties, wet, dreary and we had a surprise snowstorm the second week of April (shown above). Then all week I had a headache that finally went away overnight. Receiving two different surprises in the mail from friends this past week really raised my spirits! You’ve gotta see how cute they are:

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Guest Post: A New Englander’s Tiny Balcony Garden in Italy

Many of us who are stuck inside small urban homes during quarantine (or any time!) may find ourselves wishing we had some nature within reach. My dear friend and Bostonite Stephanie moved to Italy many years ago and created a green oasis on her chic Florence balcony. I’m very grateful that she was so generous to share her story and beautiful photos with us here on Simple Living New England. Come see her flowers, fruit trees, bird friends and more for inspiration!

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Blustery Beauty at Higgins Beach

I got a parking spot at my favorite beach!!!! I smelled ocean air (40 degree air, but I’m no longer picky!) instead of whiffs of Clorox! As a way to prevent crowding my town of Scarborough closed the beach parking lots except for a small portion of one at Pine Point. They technically did not close the beaches nor did they prohibit VERY limited parking along the street so that those who live within walking distance can still go as well as those who could snag a spot. Today was my lucky day! It’s the first time in over three weeks that I actually went for a drive anywhere. (My wedding ring still fits, ha! I take it off at home.) I really needed to at least see and smell the sea from my car. I was so thrilled that I was able to actually park and take a quick, socially-distanced walk!

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Making (Hair) Do: The “Quarantine Coif”

Wayne, an essential worker, still leaves home Monday through Friday while I only venture off our property to walk around the neighborhood. Like everywhere else barber and salon visits are out. According to headlines, home hair coloring and grooming supplies are selling out. I’ve read many comments about how awful it is that one can’t cover up their gray hair. It’s not an issue for me because as I’ve shared before, I’m going gray because I like it! Last week I decided to share some of my eclectic taste in vinyl on Instagram and included a selfie (above) in which my salt and pepper colors are very evident. Hmm I also see my crows feet in that pic, too. No Botox for me, either, now or ever. Anyway, I privately received some remarks about my hair!

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Streaming Love: A Surprise in Our Woods

How are you all doing? Since last weekend I’ve been feeling very tired, some of it likely from my hyperparathyroidism, the rest it from pandemic-related stress and sadness. I simply don’t have the energy to update with my usual frequency. Now that my book has been put on hold I also need to figure out how to start generating a small income from my blog which has been ad-free since its inception.  I do have windows of energy so I’ve been getting outside to rake and do general spring cleaning in the yard. The fresh air, warming sunshine, exercise and Cider’s company is very healing. I’ve been keeping an eye out for Buster, too. Yesterday Wayne and I did some more exploring in our woods. He found a hidden gem I never knew was there!

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Life Wins: The Gifts of Spring

Right now if you look very closely you’ll see signs of spring. A cursory glance still shows bare trees, dead leaves and patches of snow. We spent some time walking in our woods, hanging out with Cider and relishing in home comforts. I have a new camera/phone so I practiced getting close-up shots that capture the lively details of renewal. There’s also a sweet video at the end of this post. On to the pics:

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