Tuesday, December 31, 2013

McDonalds for Dogs

Our trip has been quite uneventful, just the way we like it.  Although it has been cloudy for most of the trip, its been dry and the traffic is manageable.  We discovered that the best places to walk Titan were when we stopped for gas or lunch.  There are just too many dogs at the rest areas; seems like everyone is traveling with a dog or two these days.  

We were pleasantly surprised when we stopped in Orangeburg, SC for an iced coffee and bathroom break, only to find this nice doggie area at the end of the parking lot.
The best part...we were the only ones there!  While Bill walked back to get the car, Titan and I jogged around this little park a few times in an effort to expel a little energy. 

Thank you McDonalds for thinking of the doggies.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, December 30, 2013

On the Road Again

It's that time of year again.  No, I'm not talking about Christmas or New Years...I'm talking about FLORIDA!  We're leaving today, December 30th and will arrive on January 1st, 2014.  What a great way to start the new year.  We have already had our fill of snow and cold weather!

Good-bye Maine...Hello Florida!
Smiling on Matlatcha
Let's go Red Sox!
Sunset over Charlotte Harbor

Harbor walk

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Friday, December 13, 2013

A Very Special Day, Indeed!

Today, three generations of Wehmeyer women attended the Portland Symphony Orchestra's Magic of Christmas concert at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland.   Myself, my daughter Wendy, my sister-in-law Paula Wehmeyer and my mother-in-law, Beatrice Wehmeyer attended the preview show at 2:00.
not a great photo but the best we could do to adjust it
This tradition started many years ago when Bea and her husband, Bob took their two son's families to the concert.  This included six adults and four small children, ranging in ages from somewhere around 2 to 7ish.  The adults enjoyed the concert but spent quite a lot of time trying to entertain their small kids, who were completely bored and wanting to know "is it over yet?", "can we leave now?", "why do we have to come here anyway?".  It was a loooooong 2-2 1/2 hours, every year.

Finally, after several years, with older children that could almost enjoy themselves, the cost of taking so many people to the concert was too expensive and the tradition ended.  

Although we have attended occasionally over the past several years, Wendy has re instituted the tradition and has been the one to order tickets every year.  This year we were joined by Paula and Bea, who will be celebrating her 93rd birthday in January.  Thinking back, when we first started enjoying these concerts, Bea was about my age and I was about Wendy's age.  Weird!

I guess technically, since Paula and I are Wehmeyers by marriage, not birth, it was only two generations but I'm not really sure how that works.

We never really know how long we will be on this earth but 92 years is a nice, long time and I'm so glad the four of us were able to enjoy this very special day together.  
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Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Time to Make the Candy

Holidays are coming, decorations are appearing, baking is taking place and for me, like many others, that includes making holiday candy.  First up this year is Sponge Candy, sometimes called moon candy because of it's final appearance.

I started with it because it's easy and doesn't take forever!  For those interested, here is the recipe I use...

Ingredients you will need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 9x9 pan, lightly greased - NOT glass!!!
1 candy thermometer

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar in a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring regularly.
Love the color
Continue cooking, without stirring, to 300* on the thermometer.
bubble, bubble, toil and trouble
The color darkens a little
Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda, mix well. 
Pour into the 9x9 pan and allow to cool; DO NOT SPREAD.  The "batter" grows once the b.s. is added so you have to move fairly quickly.
Once it is cooled,  remove it from the pan and break it into pieces.  

The name comes from the texture.  It's a hard candy that melts in your mouth and has a very distinctive taste due to the vinegar.  

Sponge candy stores well as long as it is kept dry, otherwise it gets sticky.

If you try it, please comment and let me know what you think.  Enjoy your holidays.

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Day to Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  We had a marvelous time once again at David and Paula's with 16 grateful souls around the dinner table.  They ranged in age from Ella, 5 years to Grandma Bea,  92 years.

I have been taking pictures of the four Wehmeyer kids since they were babies and today was no exception.  However, this year Ella was included ;o) she is, after all, a Wehmeyer!
Wendy, Greg, Keith, Ella
and since Michael doesn't always make it home for the holiday, someone developed a "stand- in" for him several years ago. 
Keith, "Michael", Greg, Vanessa, Wendy, Dan
Keith and his mom, Paula
David (now I know where Michael gets it)
Wendy and Dan
Greg and Vanessa

Bill and me
Ella and Kiki
Grandma Bea and her namesake Wendy Bee
Three generations...Grandma Bea (92), Wendy Bee (33), Ella (5)
How can I not be thankful when I see all of these beautiful, healthy, happy faces.
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Entrepreneur

By definition, an entrepreneur is "one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise".

Well, this sure doesn't apply to me, I hate being in charge of just about anything and everything.  However, my beautiful daughter, Wendy Bee Martineau has become one...an entrepreneur.
Wendy Bee Martineau

She is the "Owner, Designer and Queen Bee" of her very own small business...Bee Pure & Natural Body Products.  
"Body products you can feel good about."
She and her husband, Dan have become very health conscious over the last couple of years.  
Young and healthy
They are involved with the local Crossfit gym and began eating a Paleo diet, even making a lot of their own condiments such as mayonnaise and salad dressing.  I'm very impressed with their ability to change their lifestyle!  Try as I might, I continue to wallow in my lack of exercise and poor eating habits.  However, I have given up Splenda and almost given up Diet Coke.  So, technically, I'm making progress.  Baby steps...

I digress.  

Wendy started making organic lip balm for the two of them.  She quickly realized that a number of other people were interested in having one of their own.  As it turned out, making several of them was just as easy as making one or two.  Then it was toothpaste and lotion bars, sugar scrubs, body butter and deodorants.  What started out as Wendy Bees'wax Lip Balm soon became Bee Pure & Natural Body Products with the philosophy..."what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body".

Packaging and tags
She not only designs and produces the product, but also designed the logo and business cards, as well as the labels that identify each product.  I never would have thought of all those things.

Dan is working on her website, which is online but currently under construction, and also handles all of the shrink wrap duties, as well as the all important...moral support!

She has been busy every weekend attending local fairs and already has her products in two small businesses...The "Pop Up Shop" in Sanford, ME and Massage Solutions in Saco, ME.

No one knows where this new venture will take her but I am extremely proud of her guts, intelligence, energy, creativity and work ethic.  Keep your eyes open, her products may will be in a store near you in the future.

Congratulations, Wendy!  You're awesome and I love you more than you can imagine.

Thanks for stopping by...


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Blast from the Past

I like to save things, which explains why the cellar still needs to be cleaned out after four years on Nottingham Dr.  Yes, I like to save but I'm not quite as bad as a hoarder, although I can sort of understand why they can't get rid of stuff.  For me, it seems like everything has sentimental value.  I have saved these Jack-O-Lanterns since Wendy and Greg were in elementary school.
Greg's on the left and Wendy's on the right
I love "finding" these every year when I decorate for Halloween.  Seeing them on the door after all these years makes me smile ;o)

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Biking Acadia...Around the Mountain II

This ride kicked my butt, therefore I nicknamed it The Ride From Hell!  Bill found it in the book, "Discover Acadia National Park".  It was described as 18.1 miles, without the difficult sections found in the Around the Mountain loop.  HA!  that is totally false.  I swear this ride was 18 miles uphill and .1 mile downhill.  The book indicated it would take 5 hours to complete this loop; however, it took us about 3 hours to do the entire loop although we stopped for lunch and to take pictures and catch our breath.  I started walking the uphill sections after the first couple of hours.  I just couldn't pedal uphill any more!  

For the most part, this ride takes you through the woods.  However, there are a couple of sections with nice, distant views and you pass over several wonderful bridges built in the 1930's.

The morning was very foggy at our cabin but was clearing by the time we got started.  We began our trip at the end of Eagle Lake and went counter clockwise around the loop.
Eagle Lake with fog on the distant mountains
We traveled along the length of Eagle Lake but it disappeared fairly quickly as we pedaled up a nice, long hill.  Before too long we came across Aunt Betty Pond.
We rested our bikes along Waterfall Bridge

Hadlock Brook
and took a short walk down to the brook, where we ate lunch.
The view at lunch
As we continued our ride, we crossed the Amphitheater Bridge which is the longest bridge in the park at 235 feet.  The construction is absolutely gorgeous.
 and the Cliffside Bridge, my favorite.  There were nice views along this section.
We rode and rode and rode and finally reached Bubble Pond, which Bill told me was Eagle Lake and we were nearly done.  WooHoo! 
Cadillac Mtn from the edge of Bubble Pond
The end of Bubble Pond.  No fog now ;o)
Unfortunately, we had another mile or so to pedal before we reached Eagle Lake and our car ;o(  The fog burned off completely and the day turned out to be a beautiful one with temps warming into the 70's.

If you enjoy riding the carriage roads and want to spend several hours doing so, you will probably enjoy this loop.   There are several other loops you can enjoy if you want something shorter.

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hiking Acadia...Beech Cliff Ladder Trail/Canada Cliff Trail

Bill decided on this hike before we got here and I have been anxious about it ever since.  What's to be anxious about, you ask?  Well...Cliff and Ladders are two things I don't like hearing when it describes a hike.  Our favorite go-to hiking book about Acadia, A Walk in the Park, describes it this way..."the trail climbs the steep side of Beech Cliffs over ladders and steep terrain, so beware!"  Ugh, not my idea of a good time ;o(

The morning started out perfectly.
Good morning from Edgewater No. 6
We were actually out of the cottage by 9:30, very usual for us but rain is predicted later ;o(  After a short drive going the wrong direction, we quickly got back on track and reached the Echo Lake parking area a little before 10:00.  Our destination could be seen in the distance.
It doesn't look that bad from here.
No mention of ladders!
It was a short hike, only about 1/2 mile; however, it was up the side of the cliffs.  Initially, the trail was not very obvious and not well marked marked at all from what I could see.
We climbed steadily with the help of handrails and steps
Nice curved handrail

Seriously, who can use a handrail this size, other than Paul Bunyan or maybe Hagrid.
Now this is a little more like it, something I can wrap my fingers around until my knuckles turn white.
Not sure where that "old" hand came from
Views of Echo Lake were visible after a short time.

From here is was fairly steep but we were aided by ladders, long and short.
short one, 8 - 10 feet
long one, 18 - 20 feet
go Bill!
And then there were two.
waiting, waiting
We saw some interesting flora on our hike.
I love these teeny tiny ferns.

my favorite
There was even a nice place to sit and catch my breath.
I'm not really in pain, although it looks like I am
We reached the summit in short order.
Summit of the Beech Cliff Ladder Trail
There was a .4 mile loop at the top which we were glad we investigated because the views were well worth the time spent there.
Greening Island in the distance
Sand beach at the end of Echo Lake
New Keen hiking shoes scored at Marshalls for $30!
The skies cleared and the sun even came out for a few minutes!
Previously, we would have had to back down the ladder trail in order to return to our car.  However, at some point fairly recently, a "new" section of the Canada Cliff Trail was completed, so we returned to the car that way, a much better option in my humble opinion.
New section of Canada Cliff Trail

so many choices
That way or that way?
Help to keep our feet dry
We ate lunch on the beach of Echo Lake, cloudy again but not raining...yet.
The view at lunch 9.10.13
It was a good hike and I would do it again.  If you are terrified of heights, I wouldn't recommend this hike; however,  I get a little anxious hanging on the edge of cliffs and climbing long ladders but I felt quite safe on this hike.  There are plenty of handrails and cables to stabilize yourself.  It's a short hike with a decent return.

After lunch we rode our bikes along Lurvey Spring Road to Long Lake.  Unfortunately, one of the roads at the end is private and the other one is very steep and accesses private property. 
Cool gate telling us to "go away"

It appeared that there was a small path along the edge of the lake so I ran down and took a quick photo since it had already started to rain!
Nothing exciting, most lakes look the same in the rain ;o(
We walked our bikes back up the hill and pedaled our little behinds as fast as we could nearly 2 miles back to the car; we still got fairly wet.

Photographic proof that it was raining
Thanks for stopping by...