Tree and Vine Masks

Ten creative cloth face masks that are made in Maine.

Somewhere in our collection of home videos there is one of me sewing my newborn daughter’s first ever Halloween costume. I vaguely remember looking up as my husband provided voice over commentary while moving the camera closer.  I was engrossed in lining up the black and yellow fleece stripes and while they were not complicated to stitch together, my frustration level was rising. I’m fairly certain the distinguishing feature of that long lost video is me swearing and attempting to muster a faint smile so my daughter would not think her mother unhappy with the task. But, sadly, I was.

Although, I persevered and must say it did turn out to be one adorable little bee costume which I still have. Maybe my future grandchildren will wear it again someday and I won’t actually have to sew something new for them.

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Spending the Morning Strawberry Picking at Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth

I originally posted this blog a few years ago and have updated it for the current strawberry season. I picked my strawberries this morning and I’m getting ready for another round of pie making today.

One of the many joys of summer is that it is berry filled. The end of June is the kick-off to strawberry season here in Maine. There is nothing better than enjoying them freshly picked, but you have to be quick. At only 3 to 4 weeks long, the strawberry season is short, like most things in Maine.

The strawberry season generally runs from the end of June to the end of July. This year was a really late start because of our rainy, cool spring but they’re finally ripe now.

Last year on July 4th weekend, my youngest daughter and I ventured out to Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth and picked a heaping flat of strawberries. Fresh strawberries are amazing, but you need to enjoy them as soon as possible after picking. The shelf life is short-lived which is generally not a problem at my house because they are devoured rapidly especially around the Fourth when we usually have a full house.

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#AtoZChallenge | X is for Xerochilia and Six Ways to Fix It.

So, it’s at the point in this blogging challenge, where I really have to dig deep for something to use for the letter X. As always, I start randomly scrolling through X words and definitions in the hopes that something will click. In this case, it did click and, while this is more of a medical term, it does fit my theme.

Here is a definition of xerochilia from dictionary.com, “Dryness of the lips.” Guess what? There is no shortage of dry lips during the winter months.

How to deal with this perennial problem? Here are seven lip care products made by Maine based companies designed to help with dry lips:

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#AtoZChallenge | G is for Goats and an Adorable Way to Recycle Our Christmas Trees

I put up five Christmas trees each year. One stands in front of the window in our mudroom and is covered in ornaments that I’ve collected from my travels over the years. You can see it from the road as soon as you come over the hill leading up to our house.

The second is a slightly bigger one in our living room that I insist on putting colored lights on even though the rest of my family prefers white ones. The colored lights are nostalgic and remind me of my childhood. The lower third is where all the non-breakable ornaments hang, an attempt to dog proof it. It’s also tied to the ceiling for reinforcement since it has some irreplaceable ornaments on it including a glass elephant my grandmother gave me.

A third table top tree in our breakfast area showcases my Superwholock obsession although in actuality it is covered only in Doctor Who ornaments and one determined mini-bust of Dean Winchester that I converted into something that I could hang in the tree out of desperation at not being able to find any other Supernatural ornaments. I’ve yet to locate a Sherlock one that I like either.

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A to Z Challenge Bonus | Galaxie Salsa finding a delicious new use for zucchini.

One of my favorite non-fiction books is Barbara Kingsolver’s  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. She is a beautiful writer.  I was mesmerized as she journeyed through a year of eating locally. It’s something I fantasize about trying.  However, since I have zero gardening skills, I don’t think I would be as successful as she was eating only foods grown myself or purchased from local farmers. Other than tomatoes and the occasional herb, I have limited knowledge on how I would actually feed myself.

I did consider jumping into the backyard chicken trend when we first moved back to Maine but then I remembered that we own a lab. My understanding is labs and chickens don’t always play nicely. It’s the whole retriever thing. While I might have been able to train my dog to “leave it” when it came to the chickens, overall it seemed too stressful especially for a novice chicken wrangler like me.

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