Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Kneading Conference

After a few hours of sunshine, the rains started and never let up all day, but the outdoor cooking went on regardless and we had an interesting workshop at Albie Arden's place, who is firing up the oven for our lunch . Albie, incidentally, was one of the founders of the Common Ground Fair which we visited last year and is a dedicated organic gardener with an amazing vegetable garden, as well as an expert in wood-fired ovens.

We built four different kinds of outdoor wood-fired ovens and also talked about the meaning of cooking together : fire as the heart of the community which brings old and young together , providing nourishment not just for our bodies, but for our souls as well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From Freeport to Skowhegan

We're staying at a wonderfully old-fashioned motel where lots of hikers stay . These boots have just hiked 17 miles of the Appalachian Trail and are going out again tomorrow.Doesn't that sound like fun ? Before I die I would like to hike at least a part of the Appalachian Trial - anyone want to join me ?

The countryside is filled with blooming wildflowers, mainly Queen Anne's Lace and Black-eyed Susans .

But it's not all summer fun and flowers.Logging seems to be the main source of income and lots of these trucks are zooming up and down the road ; sometimes they have two or three more trailers filled with logs hitched to them.

And since we are in Maine, there are lots and lots of dignified old houses to see.By the time we got to Skowhegan, it was early evening and most people were at home and outside, enjoying the warm weather which is somewhat unusual for Maine. This made it impossible to take pictures - " Pardon me, madam, may I take a picture of you natives at play ? " I think not.

However, I couldn't resist stopping to take this picture of a cool chicken tractor. When I asked permission to do so, the cheerful owner of the lovely old house and chicken tractor turned out to be an organizer of the Bread Baking Conference we came to attend. Not only was she extremely friendly and pleasant, she also had a terrific garden - I felt I wanted to know her better and maybe become friends.Maine is so cool.

The gardens are really stunning here. This perennial border is planted next to a charming old brick house on the banks of the the river, which we discovered as the sun was setting. It was built in 1839 by a blacksmith for his family of 10 children - mighty tight quarters for such a big family. It's a museum now and we would really like to come back and see it in the daytime when the house is open.

The river is the Kennebec, of course,very tranquil and serene here in the early evening light.

Vacation !

We've crossed from the mundane world into vacationland - that's how I feel every time we drive across this bridge. Mr. RFD and I are looking forward to 10 glorious days here in Maine, starting with a little pitstop in Freeport. Hhhhmmm, what could that mean ?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My niece and nephew are so photogenic

Love the pics! I submit to you these additional summer photos and some artistic photography by miss rhysie for the judges approval. she is a budding la chappelle.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where have we been ?

Tasting the fleshpots here at the farm !

A very complicated and compact " train" was constructed, as can be seen here.

This required the issuing of tickets, which were strictly controlled ( no ticket - no ride ! )

Eventually we arrived at a wonderful tea party.At this point my associate took over the camera and took approximately 70 pictures.

There was lots to photograph outside, too. Here's Pete, the cat, and

the first basket full of tomatoes from the garden. Pretty nice pictures for a 5 year old, wouldn't you say ?

Suddenly a pony came knocking on the door !

My associate is turning into a competent rider with a good seat, but - oops - we forgot the riding hat !

Naturally, you have to have a refreshing bath after a big ride.

Younger brother, meanwhile, is loving the pool and why not - it's 90 degrees in the shade. Time for all of us to take a dip . Hope your summer is as much fun as ours !

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I don't know why I've been black balled from Blogger, but I've been trying to post the pictures of our Rockport beach extravaganza SINCE WE GOT BACK and it WON'T LET ME!  Just had to express some of my frustration publicly.

Phew.  I feel better now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just in time for swimming lessons

so someone can tell which one is her towel

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


The Beach!
Here are some pictures from our recent vacation to the lovely Rockport, MA. It is an adorable (former) fishing village. Not very commercial, unless you count the irresistible shops downtown, beaches that are just made for small children and a cool breeze off the ocean. We watched the lobster boats come in with their daily catch and enjoyed playing among the seaweed covered boulders at the water's edge. R was thrilled to find tiny crabs and sea glass, and W practiced his climbing skills and developed a passion for the water. Here is our house:

And here are some other sweet pictures of the trip. Reading with Cheryl in the morning, playing and picturesque Rockport.