Monday, July 13, 2015

Stunned and Hearbroken..

maine-matters has been terribly quiet as of late..

My life has been struck with  tragedy...

Just 3 weeks ago we had to put down our wonderful, once in a lifetime companion Big Ray.

He was almost 12 years old and had stomach cancer.  I know "it" was the right thing to do for him but that is of little condolence for the heart break that we feel.

Even now as I write this short post, I weep for him..

As time moves on and I gather myself I will be writing an appropriate eulogy for our beautiful, loving yellow boy..

How can it be?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Real Cruise of '15..Finally.....

What a Saturday to be out on our boat heading to our “secret location’ , on  the first REAL summer cruise of ’15.
Tied up along the ledges with about 35 feet of water 2 feet out from the edge and with a lovely brunch to be enjoyed with our traveling companions..
Today is a different story. Enjoyable in it’s own right with the much needed rain and with a pot of baked beans for later.
Using of course “Mother Mabel’s secret recipe”..
And so there is “this secret” and “that secret”…
Sometimes it’s best that way………

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Open Water Fishing Season? Really?

April 1 is opening day for most streams and brooks in Maine..
well at least it's supposed to be..
this is what things looked like just a couple of days ago..
guess I'll wait a bit longer..

(I grabbed this image from a post on a fishing forum that I read..I don't know who took it but thanks!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pizza At The Plumb and Bobber Searsmont

It was cold, no not cold but frigid..a perfect evening for it...

We took advantage of the gracious invite by Deb and Mike to join them for a pizza party at their home in Searsmont village.  Not just any old regular pizza party mind you but this party would have pizza baked in their vintage brick oven located in their basement room, named The Plumb and Bobber .

They discovered the walled in oven during one of their many renovations of their old village homestead. And with painstaking attention to detail, have been adding thoughtful touches to the decor and functionality of this wonderful spot.

Having started the fire earlier in the afternoon..the oven was at a toasty 900 plus degree temperature, nearly attaining critical mass.

 So letting the flames die down to a beautiful bed of coals  we had time to enjoy our appetizer of mussels with smoked butter and garlic.

At this temperature and under Mike's watchful eye it wasn't long before they were on the table.

 After our shellfish it was time to choose the toppings and spices for our pies.
And there were many choices to be had with a well stocked and well thought out pantry.

 Deb was soon putting the finishing touches on what just happens to be my favorite pizza,  green pepper, onion and pepperoni,  which she elegantly prepared on a white marble counter top..

 And this was just the beginning, as one by one the pies were shuffled into the oven for a quick, ( I'll call it flash)  baking.

And in very short order, onto the table..

A perfect, apple wood fired, brick oven pizza..
Now that's what I'm talking about!

Thank you Deb and was totally awesome!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cappy's Chowda'..Time to Dehibernate..

maine matters has been laying low the last couple of months, in hibernation mode. The calendar says february..half way thru winter..but the reality is that spring is still a long way off. And so the "staff" of maine matters (Pat, Big Ray, Andre and me) decided to shake off the mid-winter doldrums for a road trip, to flee south.. to Camden......

One would think that following a road that hugs the Maine coast would yield many views of the ocean but that is not the case. In fact the ocean sightings are few but you are constantly aware of it's presence with a salty smell or the change in the air.

Upon leaving Belfast, the first view you get of the bay is as you cross Little River bridge and between there and Ducktrap, it's pretty much blacktop and fir trees.  But once you get to Ducktrap you get your first real view.  And a fine view it is, looking straight out the western gut to open ocean.

Just down the road from Ducktrap lays Lincolnville Beach, with Islesboro off to your port side. You may even get a bit lucky and be there  to watch The Margaret Chase Smith "steam" out of the ferry landing beginning her 3 mile, twenty minute crossing to the island.
During the summer on her decks will be seen many people enjoying their short cruise but THIS day was definitely not THAT day.  Not with the snow swirling in a very cold wind which had even the seagulls beached. And with a tip of my knit cap for the hardy crews of the Maine State Ferry Service, we continued our southerly ride.

Shortly we made the sharp left into Camden. A different perspective of it's famous harbor was desired, so we turned off the highway and stopped just past the library to check out the scene.  The boat sheds and waterfront looked cold and desolate, with the schooners mummified in their winter wrappings. 
No sails bursting with salt air were to be seen. The warm summer evenings of hustle and bustle in this busy coastal village seemed a long way off.  

But there is much enjoyment to be had if one looks for it in the right places..such as the warmth and hospitality of Cappy's.
In short order we were at a cozy table in the even more cozy pub, enjoying a glass of  Maine's own, Allagash White. 
There were a few folks sitting at the bar and a few others at some of the tables but we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  A fine spot to sit and converse and reflect on how wonderful it is to be living on the coast of Maine, even during the cold winter months.  And as we Mainers try our best to insulate ourselves from these cold days,  they ironically serve as our insulator against the outside world,  soon to overtake us come June. 

And our reward?  Other than the best reward of all which is living in Maine...

A hot cup of chowda' ... thank you very much...
Wicked good!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bailey's Doing Great In College

For those of you who occasionally read maine-matters you would be aware that my wife and I (95%  wife / 5% me) are puppy raisers for Guiding Eyes For The Blind out of Yorktown Heights New York.  "We've" (meaning Pat) raised many potential guide dogs in the past and the latest one to leave home for college is Bailey..

(Of course this is when we first got him..I couldn't resist..)

Our update we got from the training center is that Bailey is doing wonderfully and a pleasure to work with.

So our boy is doing great and making his parents very proud.
Keep up the good work son!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Well, Here We Go Again...Introducing Andre..

 Introducing Andre. Number 16?
This little boy could find no home..sad..sad..sad..
 But luckily, and in the nick of time, Pat escaped with him..
Soon he was home with us, and with his big brother Ray showing him the ropes, Andre is already learning the drill. He's a very good student...
Welcome Home Andre!