Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Open Door

Conceive it, believe it, achieve it.
What is it that your mind and heart are yearning for? Can you put it into words? Can you speak your thoughts aloud, write them down, share them with someone you are close to? What if there were no barriers, no issues to contend with... what if you could have anything, or be anyone you could imagine? Can you conceive it?
Do you think you are any better or any worse than any other human being on this earth? Is there any reason to not think you can do at least as much, or as little, as anyone else? Can you picture yourself being in your dream life? Can you stretch just a little more and live as though you're already fulfilling your dream? Can you believe it?
Every single small act, and every single amazing feat have started with one step. There's a dream, a vision attached, and that's what gives direction. But still, it's one step at a time. Even a jump or a leap is just one series of movements... in and of itself not going to 'get you there'. Can you take one step? Can you gear yourself up to take one more step after that? Can you achieve it?
Richard and I had a vision. We talked about it, we shared ideas, we found pictures, we created a picture in our minds of where we wanted to be and how we wanted to be living. Then, we started looking at role models, at people who'd done it already, at methods and lifestyles to learn from. We believed it could happen to us. We started making choices, one at a time, day by day, that would put us on the life path we wanted to be traveling. We did all these things together to get us from an initial feeling of displacement & wanting something different, to coaching each other and believing it was possible, to taking positive action in that direction. And here we are, with the door to our future open before us. And here we are, opening the door to those who travel along in parallel yet divergent, intertwining paths to visit a while, to share. We have each read a lot of books over the years, attended workshops, had discussions, and listened to CD's and tapes... all sharing tools, tips and techniques for motivating yourself to accomplish those things about which you feel true passion. There is a marquis on the way into Augusta that reads something like 'What you continually hear, you will eventually believe' and I think it's true no matter whether those words are coming from those around you, or from inside yourself. If you keep yourself in the company of positive people (yourself included) you can't help but get caught up in the ideas of possibility and ultimately just DO IT, whatever that may be.
What are your success stories? Have you shared them with anyone recently? Have you allowed yourself to re-live your victory? Are you still on your life path? It's not a bad idea to re-evaluate now and then, count your wins, and figure out your next game plan for the next success story.
One key to achieving your dreams is to really be able to visualize what it is you want. The photo on this post was taken the first morning after we found this house. We'd gone home after finding it, and quietly discussed the possibilities, and came back the next day with open minds. We played a little bit, pretending we owned the house, and took photos of each other standing in front of 'our home', as though we already lived here. Then, we would put these images on our computer desktop so we'd always have them in front of us. We'd change the images as it suited us individually, but we didn't waver. It helped me a lot to go into R's office and see 'our home' on his monitor screen, and I think it was the same for him to see my computer. You can have whatever it is that you passionately, desperately want. There may be sacrifices, and it may be that you need to travel a different road to get there. Keep your mind, options and doors open to the possibilities that present themselves to you.
Our door is open to friends and family, we welcome you all.
Open Door comes from the Lighthouse Collection.

Happy Birthday Bryan!

As we've been unpacking and moving into the new house, I came across a little yellow infant shirt that Bryan wore home from the hospital after he was born... and a wooden bear pull toy... and a plaster handprint from kindergarten... and a story he wrote in third grade... and the handmade trophy from cross country ski season... and his Florida State graduation folder.
The years have gone by all too quickly, but the memories do not fade and they're revived every time I see a photo, or some other treasure.
So, on this special day, twenty nine years after your birth, happy travels Bryan... and know that we're wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Phone Call

Telephone service connected. Internet cable service connected. Electrical service connected. Radon mitigation system functional. Well bleached.
Tonight we had our first dinner party. Tuesday has typically been the evening we reserve to play music with Kathie, and David when he is available. Because of their schedule, R's surgery and the move, we haven't gotten together for a while, so it was REALLY a treat to dig out the tune books and play. First thing though, we had a fabulous dinner. I made a couple of pans of lasagna... one traditional meaty lasagna, and the other with broccoli & meat sauce. K & D brought salad and dressing (Tuscan Italian and Green Goddess, I highly recommend the Green Goddess though the Italian was also a hit) and a beautiful bouquet of pink/salmon tulips!
Richard is very good about technology, and researching what options are available. Email us for our new telephone number... if you need to reach us, rest assured you can use any of our other numbers, they'll forward your call directly to our land line, even if you're using the cell phone number. We have the capability of programming the cell phones to stop forwarding, and to just ring when we're not at home.
Apologies for no photos, I don't even know where the camera is right now!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Walking Tune

This post is titled for a fiddle tune! Walking Tune was written by Anne M Solvberg & Oyvind Lyslo. I don't have it in a book, it's a loose sheet of music I got somewhere, maybe Maine Fiddle Camp. It's a really nice tune to play and to hear. A few years ago I was listening to Prairie Home Companion and heard the tune played on the air.
Richard and I have been pretty busy packing/moving/unpacking. We managed a nice walk Saturday morning, and I got out to walk that afternoon with Jen & Avery. Sunday we took a little stroll out in the woods but I was pretty tired and came back to the house while Richard continued on. This afternoon, R asked me to go walking and I happily agreed. I love it when we're out walking this property. Seems we always find something interesting and special.
In a previous post I mentioned the turkeys and deer signs. Sunday we found 'whale rock' which of course looks like a whale, and that alone is pretty special. But 'whale rock' was gurgling in its belly! Somehow, there was enough water running underneath that you could hear it, but you had to look really carefully at the surrounding pools to see any movement at all.
Today we took a different woods road, one we've measured on the maps and seemed to be maybe 2.5 miles or so. We had to ford a small stream which was draining out of what first seemed to be a pond. Closer inspection revealed several beaver dams... one quite impressively large. We'll take the camera out next time and get a photo to post. It was pretty late when we left the house, and it did get dark before we got home but we had a great walk around the block. It's a little tricky out here walking after dark because there aren't street lights and there are no sidewalks or even shoulders to speak of. Lucky for us we were paying pretty good attention and it wasn't completely dark when we notice a HUGE hole in the shoulder~ probably big enough for a person to fall into. We couldn't really tell how deep it was but it looked like it could SWALLOW us up! We'll report it to the town crew tomorrow morning so they can attend to it before it ditches out under the road.
All in all, we've had some really nice walks out here, and we're anticipating many more.

Morning Has Broken

Okay, not a fiddle tune, but a good song for sure! Morning breaks through our bedroom window, greeting us with sunshine filtering through the trees here at Fiddle Ridge. I love living in the woods! Saturday morning I went outside to hang a windchime (one I got in Maui years ago on a retreat with Club-E), and heard TURKEYS gobbling and thrashing around, and we saw what I think was sign of deer tearing up leaves just off the side of the road. Lots of birds too.
Richard rented a U-Haul box trailer for the weekend, so we moved. Not what I had planned, but it worked out great! We got just about everything out of the house (except the piano, washer, and dryer). The barn is still full too, so we're definitely not done, but it feels really good to be actually living in our new home. Only a few more boxes to unpack in the kitchen and we'll be ready to haul some more stuff over here.
The house is really comfortable. The first night (Friday) it was pretty chilly, but this house has been empty all winter. By Saturday evening it was definitely warmer, and today it was a glorious 70 degrees, with a fire only early this morning. The floor plan is unique, but for us it seems to be perfect.
Mom & Dad came over to help unload the U-Haul Friday night, and returned on Saturday morning to help more. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Jen and Avery came to visit and take a tour of the house, glad they could see the new digs. Kathie stopped in for a look, and Deb too, though we weren't here to see her (bet she's all tan from her recent trip to Mexico!).
We still have a lot of cleaning, and projects, but are ready for anyone to stop by for a visit! We should have our telephone service tomorrow, and as you can see here, our internet service has been connected.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Call It a Night

This photo was taken less than a month ago at Fiddle Ridge, before we ever named the property, before we ever dreamed we'd be living there. For anyone who has heard the story, this is, believe it or not, the first view we had of the house and the yard... never even knowing the acreage or seeing the inside of the house, we just knew there was something special here.
February 25th, Richard and I had been driving around, again, looking at land listings trying to imagine how we'd build a home that would reflect our lifestyle and have the space for the children to visit, and for friends & family to gather. We'd not found anything we were really interested in, but through the conversations while driving around we were learning a lot about each other and the 'picture' in our minds of where we might want to 'be' in a few years.
On Saturday the 25th of February, we were out in North Wayne, searching for a land listing (which we never found until a week or so later), and saw a realtor sign at the end of a dirt road. We drove in a ways and decided to turn around, because it was getting dark and we were on an unimproved dirt road with the Toyota... didn't want to get stuck in the woods with no cell phone coverage!
This is what we saw when we drove into the driveway to turn around. Not much to see, huh? I'm still amazed how this story unfolds. In the dim light of early evening, I said something like "this is the house I want us to build, something like this". Richard wasn't all that impressed with the style of the house, but was still interested in finding out more. Our research at home that evening revealed details about the house and the land, enough to pique our interest further and draw us back Sunday morning in the bright light of day... that's the second photo with Richard in front of the house.

The rest of the story is just as sweet. Not that the house is without flaws, because it is dated, and it has been vacant since last summer. Each time we have visited the property, we've felt more connected and more like this is our home. We haven't wavered from the ideals and goals we've set for ourselves, although having a mortgage does change some of the activities we'll be involved in financially. In many ways, I'm actually happy about that, because it encourages us to make responsible choices about what things are MOST important to us, rather than doing everything that sounds fun or interesting.
This afternoon, less than a month from that first evening, we'll sign papers and move our first load of 'stuff' out to Fiddle Ridge. With all the talk and activity surrounding the house and Richard's hand surgery, we haven't played as much music as we like. Last night we skipped out on the Pownal jam and had a quiet dinner at home, packed a few more boxes, and played through some of our sets... it helped us get re-focused on who we are and what we're about. We'll keep the fiddles handy today, and throughout the weekend, just to play a tune or two in the midst of the chaos of moving.
Call It a Night comes from the Waltz Book, Volume Three.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Tonight is the regular Thursday night jam at our friend Jeff's. We have missed the last few weeks because of R's hand surgery. Recovery is going well, physical therapy and exercises have increased the movement and flexibility, and of course time for the tissue to heal... all are contributing positively. We've been playing a bit together at home, and were able to fiddle last weekend for the family dance at the DEFFA festival in Topsham. Last night we attended the 4th Wednesday jam at the UU church in Augusta. It's a good feeling to be part of this community of musicians.
We are a little distracted this evening because we just went out to Fiddle Ridge to do the final walk through before we close the deal tomorrow. The house and the land there have called to us since we first turned around in the driveway less than a month ago. Each time we have visited, we find something new and special to draw us back... and those things of which we are already aware still beckon us to return soon. We want to attend tonight's jam, but part of us wants to stay here and pack in preparation for tomorrow.
A tradition at the end of this jam tonight will be making popcorn and sharing it while chatting with friends. A nice way to end the evening.
Popcorn is in The Portland Collection Volume Two. Seems like there are a lot of good tunes from that book to use as blog titles these days!
Our internet service won't be connected at the new house until early next week, so we may not be blogging much over the weekend. Telephone service is also being connected next week, and our cell phones are not reliable in North Wayne. Please leave us a message if you try to call, we'll be checking voice mail periodically throughout the weekend, and can call you back when we are in Augusta getting another load of 'stuff' (aka personal possessions and things we can't live without). Our schedule at Fiddle Ridge is uncertain, but it is fairly likely we'll be there in the mornings for coffee so you could stop in if you're in our neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Split Rock

While walking through the woods at Fiddle Ridge, we've seen many interesting land features and items of interest. Last Saturday, we found more stone walls, a feather we identified as coming from a spruce grouse, a good sized woods pond, what looks to be an entrance to Fiddle Ridge proper, and this giant rock (of which there are MANY more).
It's still a little hard to believe we'll be moving soon, and will be able to just go for walks in the woods any time we want.
We'll sign closing papers Friday afternoon and take our first load of cleaning & painting supplies, basic necessities, and whatever else we can pack into our vehicles out to Wayne. It's easy to get a little overwhelmed by the amount of 'stuff' we have accumulated between the two of us, but if I just step back a bit, 'chunk it down', and regain perspective, it seems like no problem at all. Quiet focus and diligence in the task will get us from here to there in no time!
Split Rock can be found in The Portland Collection Volume Two.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring Morning

Happy Spring!
What is on your agenda this morning? I'm off to Club-E for a few hours... usually I have Monday off but one of the other girls has a sick child and they're a little short staffed, so I'm going in to help out for a bit. That's just one of the reasons I am happy to be part of the crew there, everyone helps cover when someone can't be there... because everyone makes a great effort to get there if at all possible.
This afternoon, I've committed to going with R out to finish a soil test in Bowdoinham. He's realizing that he needs to step back for a couple of weeks and let his hand heal after last week's surgery. I'm happy to go out with him though, it helps me understand what he does, and I get to learn about soils! Looks like it'll be a nice afternoon to be outside.
We also have a list of telephone calls and contacts to make in anticipation of our closing on Friday. You know, having the electricity service continue, arranging for telephone service and internet... those sorts of things. We have done really well not going out and buying a bunch of stuff. We had already started a small list of things we'd want and we got those this weekend... dish cloths, mixing bowls, a large desk calendar. We haven't yet decided on appliances, we'll talk about that more today. It would be nice to have new appliances delivered Saturday, but we'll have to go out and measure the existing appliances before we can actually purchase new ones, which will mean arranging a trip out to the house today if possible.
Spring Morning is a tune from the Waltz Book, Volume Two.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Spring is right around the corner, literally! Tomorrow marks the vernal equinox... the first day of spring. The perennial gardens at Fiddle Ridge are showing signs of spring, and anxiously await our willing hands to tend their tangled mess of overgrowth.
I always look forward to spring, for the warmer air, the brighter sunshine, the longer days after a long winter. Washing windows, re-potting the houseplants, opening windows for the fresh air and starting a few house & yard projects are always on the spring 'to-do' list. This year it will be even more special because we'll be moving!
Richard and I are also looking forward to morning walks around the property before starting our work days, whether that means checking into Club-E for me, soil tests for R, or a weekend walk together. It's about a mile around, and should take no more than 20 minutes on a serious, uninterrupted jaunt. A great way to start the day, and to take inventory of which birds are calling, weather conditions, and a generally meditative start to our day.
New Years is traditionally the time when new goals are set, and lifestyle changes are instituted, but I like the idea of spring change, the time of re-birth and renewal. So, here's to the spring equinox!
Equinox is a tune from The Portland Collection, Volume Two.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday Morning

This morning Richard and I met the appraiser at Fiddle Ridge, just as he was finishing up and getting ready to leave. He seemed to feel there would be NO problem with the appraisal, whahoo! This is the final piece of paperwork needed to close. No date yet, so we continued on with our days plans.
We stopped in at Dave's Appliance in Winthrop to check out appliances. We'd stopped at Sears a week or so ago to see what was on the market these days. We'd like to have things already picked out and ready for purchase and delivery. We're definitely getting a refrigerator. Richard likes black appliances, and I'm not attached to any particular color (although I wouldn't choose stainless steel). I like the textured finish rather than the gloss (don't want to be wiping fingerprints all the time). We both like the doors with the recessed handles, and we both like the freezer on the top (more energy efficient). At some point we'll be replacing the dishwasher, and would also like to change out the electric Jenn-Air for a gas range, but that may wait a little while.
We then packed up and went to Topsham for the annual DEFFA festival. Richard did a GREAT job playing for the family dance with me and our friends... he took the splint off his hand and had no problem playing the fiddle. We danced some throughout the day and had a really good time. We did call it an early evening though... enough action for one day considering his hand surgery was only on Monday!
Okay, so here's the big news... we have a closing date for Friday! We'll do the final walk through later this week, the current owners will have all their possessions out of the house, and we'll take immediate ownership March 24, 2006. We're just so happy, and excited, for so many reasons.
Choosing this house together, and both of us really feeling like the house chose us, makes it very special. Every time we've been out there, we feel more connected to the house and the land. This morning, there were chickadees and blue jays chirping, the sun was shining, and the house seemed to just be glowing and basking in the morning light.
We are planning to spend Friday night in our new home, and to wake up on Saturday morning at Fiddle Ridge! We'll be organizing a moving day, and will be happy for anyone who is available to help... that may be a week or two after the closing to give us some time to get things cleaned and painted. More details to follow!
Saturday Morning is a reel in D Major, and can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Glass of Beer

Happy St Patrick's Day... Here's wishing the luck o' the Irish to yeh... Richard and I joined friends at Delia's here in Augusta, the new Irish pub. They were celebrating their grand opening today, and the place was PACKED. This restaurant/pub has been pretty busy since they opened. We were going to have to wait for a table a couple of weeks ago, but all reports are that it is FUN and the FOOD is good... and we found out those reports are TRUE. We shared fried shrimp, fries, and cole slaw tonight, and drank a few beers in the company of Richard's co-workers. Good time had by all :) I won a Delia's gift certificate which we put toward the evenings bill, and also got a green keychain bottle opener and some green beads. One couple that we were with live only a mile from our new home, so we were quite happy to get more inside information about the neighborhood, community politics (they are NOT republicans so we're happy about THAT) and running trails through the area.
Glass of Beer is a tune that we've collected somewhere over the years... not found in any of our books as far as I can tell. If you're interested in a copy of this tune, email us.

Names Escape Me

This tune comes from the Fiddle Music of PEI. Names usually do escape me... it often takes a few interactions before I really connect a name with a face. I might add this is NOT because I am getting older, I've ALWAYS been like this :)
At the dances, it is common practice to introduce yourself to your dance partner at the beginning of the dance, before any of the moves are walked through. Even after seeing some people for YEARS, I still don't remember their names. Once I establish some rapport however, some conversation about something outside of dancing, I'm pretty good at recalling their name.
There had to have been something about Richard though, because it seems like I've always known his name. I don't really remember a contradance going by where we didn't dance together.
Our new license plate arrived this week, and is riding around on the Ranger. Our 'name' shouldn't escape anyone now!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cup of Tea

Here are the long awaited results from the morning spent at Hallowell Clay Works earlier this month. To the left, you can see my fine works of art, the fiddlehedz mugs complete with fiddlehead ferns!

Duchess, Joleeen and I had decided we would each make two mugs for ourselves, and make a third to donate to raise money for a scholarship fund. This was all being promoted through Slate's in Hallowell. Once the mugs were all fired and glazed however, it was too hard to decide, and none of us were able to give up the third mug... so we purchased all of them! In the long run, we've still donated money to the scholarship fund so we feel good about that. And we've got a tangible reminder of a fun 'girls morning out'.
My mugs are the first thing acquired for Fiddle Ridge. The size and shape could easily make them quite useful as tea or coffee mugs, vases, desk accessories, or in the bathroom to hold various items. The glaze color is perfect for this design :)

These are TMadd's creations. The sunflower is just BEAUTIFUL... and the 'Duchess' mug makes it very clear just who is drinking out of THAT mug. Her third mug, with the dragonfly, will be sold to MMS.

I absolutely LOVE Joleen's "Crilly" mug... it is going to be a big hit in her home, as will the dragonfly and the star mugs. One thing I noticed she did (and I did not) was to put the date on the bottom of her mugs. I did engrave 'fiddlehedz' but no date. Something to remember for next time we do any pottery projects!

Cup of Tea comes from The Portland Collection, Volume Two.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Piney Woods

Yes, another picture of the property! A good portion of the land is wooded with pine and oak, with some other species mixed in for variety. This area is just off the west side of the house, where the previous owners cut and stacked the firewood.
We have heard from the lawyers that there is clear title, and that the right of way seems to have no restrictions. We've decided to get title insurance.
The financing has been no problem. The building inspection revealed a couple of issues that will need addressing, but nothing structural... and nothing that would prevent us from purchasing the house. So, the appraisal will be done on Saturday, and it seems we may possibly be able to close next week as we've been hoping. There is a possibility that it may get drawn out longer than that... the current owners still have items in the house that will need to be moved, and we don't know what their schedules are like for closing soon.
But, we are ready! Our plan is, as soon as we sign the papers, we'll spend that first night at our new house.
In other matters, Richard is doing great after his hand surgery. It isn't easy doing things with just his left hand (he is right handed) but he is managing pretty well, using his right thumb as leverage when possible. We took the bandages off (the inner packing had come loose and was falling out in places) and got a good look at the STITCHES and the INCISION. We thought of posting the pictures we took, but were afraid they might be shocking to some of our readers. So, we're making the offer to email the pictures to those of you who are interested! Or, we could just post the pictures if there is an overwhelming positive response.
Piney Woods comes from The Portland Collection, Volume Two.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Cut and Come Again

Richard isn't letting a little hand surgery stop him from playing the fiddle. We left early this morning for the hospital, and were discharged by around 11:00. The procedure went well, and didn't take quite as long as anticipated. A couple of short stops before leaving Brunswick (new reading glasses at Big Lots, a hot dog for lunch, and coffee from Starbucks) and we headed home.
As you can see, he hasn't wasted ANY time at all in testing out how he will manage with this huge bandage/wrap. We were joking that at least it was the bowing hand, and we could rig up some sort of little pincher claw to hold the bow... at least his left hand can still work the strings for the notes! I don't know how much actual playing he'll be doing as he recovers, there's no point in trying to tell him what he CAN and CANNOT do (I'd probably be just as independent).
The condition for which Richard has been treated is called dupuytrens. For all of our faithful readers out there, send some good healing energy Richard's way... thanks!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dance Around Molly

I'm not really sure anyone named Molly is in this photo, but the name of the tune was kind of fun, and I thought would fit this photo.
Last night was the regular second Saturday dance that is held at the Westcustago Grange in North Yarmouth. The evening starts with a family dance from 6:00-7:30, and features caller Kathryn Larson, and the band Jeff & Maggie and friends (Richard and I make a good effort to play here). There is a potluck supper from 7:30-8:30 (Lots of wholesome and interesting foods) at which time the regular dance starts. Last night's caller was Barb Kirschner and the band was Wake the Neighbors. Lots of fun! Richard got quite a few nice photographs throughout the evening, and he took time out to dance a few contras and a waltz with his adoring wife!
We've been a little preoccupied with activities surrounding the house we're buying in Wayne, and have missed a couple of jam sessions. It was really good to get out and see musicians and dancers alike... it helps us stay focused on 'what we're all about' as we go through this period of transition.
Dance Around Molly can be found in the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes which you may remember has the quilt on the front cover, and was sold through the Janet Davis Music Company!
For anyone who is interested in attending a contradance and wants more information, contact us and we'd be happy to answer questions... maybe even carpool if that works out!

Frogmore Lodge

Frogs were the theme of the day on Saturday as the family gathered with Avery to celebrate his first birthday. Frog invitations had been sent, frog plates and cups were on the lunch table, a lilypad cake with frogs was served, assorted little toy frogs were scattered around on the table... and though you can't really see it from this photo
Avery even wore a FROG shirt!

Here Avery is sitting on Jen's lap, having a little conversation with his cousin Isabelle. They played so well together! Avery is happy and comfortable around everyone. It was really nice to have the grandparents (George & Dianne, Pam & Richard) and great grandparents (Ken & Janet, Paul & Nancy) present, as well as Uncle Toby and Aunt Amy, to take part in the celebrations. A wonderful afternoon spent with this special little boy.
Frogmore Lodge can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.

Friday, March 10, 2006

C'mon East

Greeting the day with sunshine is just about my favorite way to wake up in the summer. The master bedroom and kitchen windows will soak in the early morning sunshine, flooding this end of the house with light. In the colder weather, the corner by the greenhouse catches the warmth and cuts the wind, as I noted earlier this week when we were at Fiddle Ridge for the building inspection. The yard in the foreground of this photo is where we'll put in our garden, and there will be a campfire ring between the garden and the house... great place to hang out in the evenings and play some tunes, watch the starry sky, tell stories, and listen to the night noises. Ahhh, the thoughts bring a smile to my face that I can feel all the way up into my ears!
C'mon East can be found in Along the River.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy Birthday to You...

Happy Birthday to little A who turns ONE today! It has been an amazing year, watching this little boy change and grow from an infant who fit in his Uncle Toby's hands to the cute little boy who has so much personality today. Avery has a devoted mom and dad who lovingly make considerate choices for their first born. The year past has been full of a few challenges as Jen & Jason have geared their lives toward parenting, but it seems like it has been even more full of joy, laughter, and wonder as they've watched little A change from day to day. We'll be going to celebrate with Avery on Saturday, but today we'd like to invite everyone to send their heartiest 'Happy Birthday, Avery' thoughts his way.

In case you're wondering what little A is doing in this photo, he's trying to give Douglass the Bear a great big wet kiss!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Same Time Today As Yesterday

That's how I'm feeling today, as though time is at a bit of a standstill... and that not much has changed over the past twenty-four hours! In reality, things are moving along though, but this is the time I have to admit I am not very PATIENT :) I am accepting of that impatience is one of my gifts, and I'm trying to remain somewhat productive in my activities while we wait for things to be ready to purchase the house. As antsy as I feel, I know that I'm not really ready to actually move tomorrow. There will be painting and minor repairs, washing of windows and shampooing of carpets, cleaning drawers & closets... and as much as I'd like to get all of these things done before we move in, I know we'll both be very impatient when we close and we'll be spending the first night in our new home. Ahhhh, smile :)
I'm hoping no one out there will get too tired of photos of the house, and my ramblings as we approach the 'moving in'. I'll highlight different areas of the house with photographs... you'll probably feel like you've already 'been there' by the time you actually get to visit! This photograph shows the greenhouse on the south side of the house. It steps down from the dining area, and has been warm every time we've visited the house~ even those really ice cold days! We're planning to start plants for the garden, and we'll use it to re-pot and transplant house plants etc... I think we'll enjoy having morning coffee out here when the weather is to cold outside... It's a very nice feeling space!
The building inspection was done today, results should be emailed to us this evening and a hard copy mailed out tomorrow. There weren't any surprises. The house was built in 1980 and there are some things that are ready to replace and update such as the roofing shingles, refrigerator, etc. The chimneys need to be inspected and cleaned and the siding needs to be sealed. There are a couple of windows that have lost their seal and will need to have the glass replaced or whatever the glass company does to fix that problem. But, structurally the house is in good shape.
We are confident that things will progress in the timely manner that they are supposed to, and that we will be in the new house soon. It was nice to walk around inside again today, there were more things to notice, more special features that I hadn't seen before, more possibilities. The sun was warm against the southeast corner of the house near the greenhouse (the opposite side of what is shown here), and I could imagine my comfortable deck chair, me, a cup of coffee, and a bird guide. Chickadees, a woodpecker of some sort, and woodsy bird peeps were all around this morning, seemingly welcoming Richard and me, making us feel at home.
So, tomorrow I may feel the same as I do today, which in some sense is the same as yesterday... waiting, waiting, waiting. But in other respects I know we'll be one step closer to getting where we're going.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March to May

Some photos taken Tuesday evening. CoCo sketches on the sofa as the sisters sift in at the end of their work days. Mom and dad pose for the camera.

Wendi relaxes in the den (left). Photos below of Deb and Kathy working on wrapping gifts.

March to May comes from Larry Unger's Reckless Reel, and seemed a good post title. This post shares our long distance March baby shower for my niece Tasha, who is due to deliver a son, Bailey, in May!

The Davis girls, in the company of the Davis parents, gathered this evening for the shower.
It's always a treat for me to get together with my sisters... for a while we were managing to meet the first of each month and that was a lot of fun. I love how we laugh and giggle, and remember our years growing up. Tonight, mom was thinking back about those years, too. However, lives get busy and after missing a couple of months it never resumed. Now with mom and dad back in Maine, settled nicely in their new home, I have a feeling we'll have a renewed commitment to getting the family together fairly frequently.

This event was hosted at mom and dad's house, and we all contributed some healthy dinner/buffet foods. After we ate, we gathered to show each other what we had chosen for little Bailey and then took turns talking to Joline and Tasha on the phone as we wrapped the gifts. Once the last bow was placed, and the paper scraps cleaned up, we had cake, rosettes and pizzelles (?spelling?) which mom had made. Fabulous evening!

Good luck Tasha... enjoy the last few weeks of sleep!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ice On the Water

This little pond is tucked nicely into the woods just beyond the south lawn at Fiddle Ridge (our name for the new house). I am imagining that in the spring there will be peepers, and then later frogs and other creatures hanging around. Skating will be the theme in the winter!
It looks as though we could close on the house in the next couple weeks or so. The building inspection and appraisal should be done this week, financing went well this morning... it will be a matter of scheduling the closing after that.
We are, in many respects, amazed that we happened upon this property and that the process of buying it is going so smoothly. In other respects however, we cannot be so surprised because we've had the power of intention to get from where we've been to where we want to be. And Fiddle Ridge fulfills all our dreams and ideas... most of them right now as the property stands... and for the future projects and endeavors we envision.
This process has been an example of finding our focus, envisioning out loud, structuring our lives and activities to open ourselves to the changes that we wanted to occur, taking decisive action together, creating a visual reminder of what we were going for, and facilitating the changes by being pro-active as things happened. How exciting to have conceived the idea, believed it would happen, and to be achieving the goal!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Boot Shuffle

Wow. It's really hitting me that we're on our way toward buying a house! And with that realization comes a flurry of other thoughts... moving, cleaning, painting, gardening... the list goes on and each thought becomes more detailed!
We've been planning on painting our kitchen at Murray Street for a few weeks now, and finally we decided on the colors and we purchased paint. R has been preparing the walls and ceiling, and today we'll start actually painting. It will be good for me to have this type of activity to occupy my while my mind wanders and dreams about shuffling our boots and belongings from Murray Street
to Pine Needle Alley. The photo shown is Pine Needle Alley looking north from our driveway.
This coming week will put things in perspective beyond our dreamy ideas. The building inspection, discussion of our finances and the new mortgage, and getting our 2005 paperwork to the accountant are all necessary pieces of getting us from here to there.
It feels good to know where 'there' is finally. We've been looking at land, discussing our life goals, identifying priorities... all in preparation for knowing where we'd 'be'. This house and property brings all our previous conversations into focus, and helps us firmly know that this is the direction we want to be going.
Boot Shuffle is from the Portland Collection, and was written after a weekend hosting La Bottine Souriante which translates to 'Smiling Boot'. La Bottine is a Quebecois band that I like quite a lot.

I like the idea of wearing smiling boots as we've been walking the land in North Wayne!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

First Cup

This morning, I went with Justine and Tonya (friends from Club-E) to Hallowell Clay Works for an instruction session on making pottery mugs. Justine had seen an ad at Slate's... the deal is you get to make a mug for yourself, and also one to go on display at Slate's. The mug at Slate's is for sale to the general public, proceeds go to a scholarship fund. What a great way to try something out and to benefit others! This was my first time working with clay, though I've had it in my mind for quite a long time now that I'd like to try it. I'm hooked! I love the feel of the clay in my hands, and I really liked manipulating it into different shapes and forms. We didn't get to bring them home today, they'll be dried, fired and glazed at the studio. We'll be picking up our final product in a week and a half or so... I'll post another picture on at that time!
First Cup can be found in Larry Unger's Reckless Reel.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Garlic is Good for You

At least that's what Avery said after dinner. Richard and I went to Hampden to spend the evening with this little guy while his mom and dad attended a meeting for those promoting engineering in Maine (I forget the actual name of the organization). First thing on the agenda was dinner, but Avery was needing a little snack while I prepared the tortellini so we gave him some saltines and some fruit snacks, per mom's recommendations. This kept him pretty busy, but we were afraid he wasn't going to eat. Not true. Avery can pack the food away, and you wouldn't even know it to look at him! He ended up eating the entire bowl of tortellini (chopped really small in the food processer) as well as some garlic toast (the soft part) and drink all his milk.
The rest of the evening included playing with toys... Avery has a remote car starter and a cell phone... toys for sure, but definitely on his list of favorite things to mess around with~ almost as much as the real things. He is getting really good eye/hand coordination and dexterity, I was pretty amazed at how he was pressing the buttons to make different sounds and then getting all happy and excited when these toys made the appropriate noises! Bathtime was a breeze, he loves splashing in the water :) We read some books, and then he went to bed without a fuss at all. Richard and I had a very enjoyable evening with this little guy, as well as some visiting time with Jen & Jason when they got home.

Garlic is Good for You is from Larry Unger's Reckless Reel.

Fiddler's Choice

Here's another view of the house and property we have chosen. Our counter offer was accepted! Building inspections are scheduled for this coming week, and we'll also be getting paperwork started for the mortgage. Things are moving right along!

We are quite happy and excited to have found such a unique house on such great property, and look forward to finally having space to entertain!

Stay tuned for progress reports and photos!


Doctor is a jig found in Fiddler's Throne... This blog post pays tribute to Peter, the dentist I assist with at Evergreen (affectionately known as Club-E). Peter officially became part owner of the practice and I personally cannot think of anyone better suited to being a dentist. He's a pleasure to work with. Congratulations Peter & Kristin!
This picture is from last April ... Peter was one of the witnesses when Richard and I got married at the Liberal Cup. Also shown is his wife Kristin and daughter Abby. Not shown, but somewhat present at the time was their son Tyler :) I'm blessed to have them in my circle of family and friends!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Waiting for Fish

Well, not really for fish, but we're waiting. Waiting to hear if our counter offer has been accepted... waiting for the building inspection... waiting for the word that the house is safe and sound and ready for occupancy.
The past few days have been exciting, nerve-wracking, and mostly just plain fun! Richard and I have been daydreaming, planning, wondering, asking, envisioning, and supporting each other through this time of inquiry. This view of the house is from the east looking west. Interesting lines, huh?
We have a really nice realtor that we are working with, Dari Hurley. She bills herself as a holistic realtor, and I think what it means is she is more interested in facilitating the process of home ownership rather than making a sale. Often times they are one in the same, but her focus is on it being a good experience. We really appreciate her thoughts and advice.
We should hear tomorrow if the counter offer was accepted. We already have some of the preliminary testing set up for next week.
We'll post updates as they occur. Richard has been toying with the names 'Fiddle Ridge' and also 'Fiddle Acres'. We welcome your thoughts as far as naming the property goes. As we've talked, and looked at the photos we've taken, we realize that no matter what happens.... if this deal goes through or not... we have had a great few days and now we have a very clear vision of where we want to be.
This house is what we're working toward, and this land is what we want. It will happen. It could happen very, very soon!

Boo Baby's Lullabye

Avery will be a year old next week. Hard to believe he fit in Toby's hands like this... how precious!
A year ago, Jen was finishing up Avery's new room, getting his little clothes ready, making final prepartions to welcome him into the world. And she was still working full time, right up until she gave birth.
I'm so proud of her. She remains focused and committed to this little boy no matter what else is going on in her busy life, and the love & joy shows... on her face when she talks about him or interacts with him... and on Avery's face when he looks at her.

Avery is growing up fast. He's walking now, can say a few words (I love it when he says "yay!" and claps his hands), and is learning sign language (more, cat, dog...). He plays now too, passing things to you and then holding his hand out to receive them back. He's a real ham for the camera, and he's interested in everything going on around him... a real people watcher!

We're looking forward to joining Avery and his mom and dad in celebrating his first birthday next week!
Boo Baby's Lullabye is in the Waltz Book Volume 3 (the red book). Boo is one of Max's nicknames... Boo Dog. Max and Buggy have both welcomed Avery into their lives, they're all good buddies!