Port Clyde Harbor, Maine

pc_000Early in July, my granddaughter Karlee and I went to Port Clyde for a little photography fun. We had reservations to go on a Monhegan Boat Line cruise and stayed at the lovely Seaside Inn Bed and Breakfast.

The weather was perfect, and once we had checked into the bed and breakfast, we headed off to the boat. We had plenty of sunscreen and applied it liberally to our faces and lips, but we still managed to get sunburned all around the edges of our faces.

Once on board, Captain Pete explained what we could expect on the 2 1/2 hour cruise. Cameras in hand, we were ready to take pictures of anything and everything, and we did. The scenery was spectacular, and we had wonderful commentary from Captain Pete. It was a great day and the sea air was exhilarating. To see some of the many pictures taken on the trip, CLICK HERE



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The Beautiful Gardens of Maine

Maine is a beautiful place anytime of the year! With summer vacation time on the horizon, make plans now to spend your vacation in Maine. The coast of Maine offers beautiful sandy beaches, wonderful seafood, fishing, whale watching cruises, lighthouses, and much more. If camping, boating, hunting, and fishing are more your style, the foothills and mountains of Maine offer it all.

Maine LupinesSpringtime brings flowers, and beautiful lupines grow along many Maine roadways. Please enjoy the beauty and take all the photographs you want… But please don’t pick the flowers. Leave them for others to enjoy.

Lady Slippers can be spotted along dirt roads, in wooded areas, and by brooks and streams. These delicate flowers are becoming rare. They are most commonly found in shades of pink and white, but beautiful yellow blooms may be found occasionally. Maine Lady SlippersA visit to McLaughlin Gardens in South Paris, Maine will afford you the opportunity to view many wildflowers as well as beautiful gardens of domestically grown flowers, including one of the largest collection of lilacs in Maine.

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are located in Boothbay, and will amaze you with their beauty. The gardens are handicapped accessible and offer free shuttle service, free wheelchairs, and motor cart rentals.

Viles Arboretum is in Augusta, and is open from dawn till dusk. During the winter months it provides an excellent backdrop for cross-country skiing. There’s no charge for the use of this beautiful nature acreage, but I would suggest making a donation to help this organization continue to provide such a wonderful place for vacationers and Maine families to visit, learn, and use. Among the treasures hidden in away within the arboretum are the Hosta Garden, the Native Plants Garden, the Governor’s Grove, the Chestnut Collection, the Rock Garden, and the Spring Lilac Collection. That’s only a few things you’ll find there. A number of classes and learning experiences are

Viles Arboretum - Augusta, Maine

The Beautiful Rock Garden at Viles

offered. Call to inquire as class space may be limited. Fees are associated with most classes. Viles has also made sure there are some programs that are wheelchair accessible. If you have special needs, they do request you notify them in advance of your visit to insure your experience at the Viles Arboretum is pleasant and comfortable.

Maine is beautiful in the spring. Whether you come for a weekend or a week, you will fall in love with Maine’s beauty and people. We look forward to seeing you soon!! Oh, and if you are so fortunate as to live in Maine… get out and enjoy your state and support your local businesses!

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Cheryl Johnson – Maine Artist/Illustrator and Author

My friend Cheryl Johnson is a talented Maine artist/illustrator and writer of children’s books. She is one of My Maine People and I am delighted to introduce you to her talent and her books. My younger grandchildren have her books and I highly recommend them all. They are fun, whimsical, adventurous, and teach good values in a fun and exciting way. Her characters are beautifully and brightly illustrated, and grownups enjoy these books as much as children do. If you have children or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other children you love… take a couple of minutes and listen to Cheryl’s story and see her books and the wonderful characters she has created. Selling her books will enable Cheryl to pay off her student loans. She already had a family when she was finally able to go to college. She graduated and then the worst thing possible happened. She was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and recovery meant she couldn’t work for sometime and the interest on the loans kept piling up until it is now impossible to pay, unless people learn about her talent and artistry and start buying her amazing children’s books. Once you read one book, you will want them all. One of her characters is Sidley the Snail. He’s a special character and very wise. Sidley the Snail is anxious to meet you and tell you about his creator Chery Johnson!!! Please take a moment and listen. Thanks!!


Cheryl’s books are available on amazon.com and createspace.com

If you happen to live in Maine, her books are available at Longfellow Books in Portland and at the Bridgton Bookstore in Bridgton. Your children will love these books and the great cast of characters. The Mish the Mushroom man series is ongoing with more great titles to come. The next book currently under production is the “THREE MISHKATEERS” – featuring Mish, Chonk, and world traveler Sidley the Snail. Her latest book is “Pobkin” and is a story about a dwelf with a bad attitude. These are great books that appeal to children through their fun stories, characters, and beautiful illustrations. These books are perfect for gifts for your own children and grandparents will love to get them too. As a grandmother myself, I know how much fun it is to have great stories to read to my grandchildren.

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April in Maine

spring crocusAffectionately called “Mud Season” by Mainers, this month is when “ice out” occurs on ponds and lakes (often preceded by some betting on the date for a specific lake), and the month when boards start appearing (even flattened cardboard boxes) in driveways and walkways to prevent cars (and feet) from getting stuck in mud. Very few rural Mainers will have a paved driveway… ain’t natural! Crocus, daffodils, and tulips make their appearance, often with an occasional dusting of snow just to be a bit dramatic. April is the month of transition. When the temperatures finally hit the high 30s and low 40s, shorts and t-shirts start showing up on grocery store shoppers. Convertible tops go down, sun roofs open, and motorcycles make appearances at 45 degrees (Fahrenheit of course… this is Maine).  Continue reading

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Maine MAPLE Sunday – March 23, 2014

Maine Maple SundayIt’s time for Maine’s annual Maple Sunday. Many of the Maple Farms provide great fun this Sunday! There are games, activities, treats, sugarbush tours, music, and so much more. And you can be sure there will be lots of delicious Maine Maple Syrup!! Click on the link to see the Maine Maple Producer’s map of all the participating farms. Be sure to click on the link of the farms you want to visit and check their hours and schedules.


Enjoy these recipes with your family.


1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup Maine Maple Syrup

With an electric mixer on low setting, beat the butter and syrup until well blended. ENJOY! Refrigerate any leftover.


Start these potatoes in the morning before you leave for work and they’ll be ready for dinner when you get home, or put them on at night and they’ll be all done when you wake up. Pack some in your lunch and be the envy of everyone at the office. They are a definite dish to serve on holidays!

 Crock Pot Maine Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes

1/4 cup Maine Maple Syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon butter
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup raisins

In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.

Mix the Maine Maple Syrup and apple juice in the crock pot. Add the butter, sweet potatoes, and raisins. Cover and cook on LOW until the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 hours. Serve with the syrup from the cooker and raisins spooned over the potatoes.


Spiced Maine Maple Syrup Cocktail Ribs


4 pounds spareribs, cut into 4-inch pieces (see Note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup pure Maine Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with non-stick foil.

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Arrange spareribs bony side down in a single layer in the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine Maine Maple Syrup, Dijon mustard, molasses, cider vinegar, and cumin until well-mixed.

Remove the spareribs, and drain the fat from the pan. Turn ribs over. Coat the ribs with 1/2 of the maple syrup sauce. Bake another 25 minutes. Turn ribs again, add remaining sauce, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


 Maine Maple Cream

It just doesn’t get any better than this!! Maine Maple Cream is good served with anything and everything. Try a spoonful on top of vanilla, coffee, or chocolate ice cream!


4 cups pure maple syrup (Grade A Light Amber or Medium Amber works best)
A few drops of butter or vegetable oil
A large pan or sink full of cold water

Fill pan partially with water and a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil, and note the temperature of the boiling water. Empty the pan.

Place Maine Maple Syrup in a deep pan (the boiling syrup will foam up fairly high when boiling). Add a few drops of oil or butter. (This helps to keep foam down).

Boil carefully over high heat without stirring, until temperature of the boiling syrup is 24 degrees above the boiling point of the water, as noted earlier. NOTE: Watch carefully as the temperature climbs higher. It can get too hot very quickly near the end. If your pan boils over, you’ll have a real mess! If it cooks too long it can scorch, even catch fire. Watch it carefully.

CAUTION: This is very hot and sticky and can cause bad burns. Be very careful!

Remove from heat, and place immediately into a large pan or sink of very cold water to cool. Do not move, stir, or disturb the syrup during cooling. You can gently add some ice cubes to the water bath if necessary.

Cool to near room temperature. (Hold the back of your hand close to the surface. It’s cool enough when you don’t feel any heat radiating off the surface anymore.)

Remove from water bath and stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it loses its gloss and starts to get opaque. You will notice a change in the color of the liquid. This will take a strong hand and some time. It will get to the consistency of peanut butter when finished. Spoon into containers and keep refrigerated.

Yield: about 2 pounds

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