Three Winter Hikes. Embrace the cold.

In our never-ending effort to stay active, we’ve made hiking a year round activity. We’ll technically we didn’t “make” it year round. It has always been year round for those who love the outdoors, but until last year I was not among them.  Fortunately, I’ve learned to embrace the cold and actually discovered that I like winter hiking once you get past the initial “wow, it’s freezing” feeling. Once you get moving, the cold disappears.

The challenge with winter hiking, and other winter activities, is that you’re dependent on the type of winter mother nature brings. Lots of snow, great – break out those snowshoes. Not a lot of snow – hiking shoes it is. Icy conditions – throw on some crampons. Continue reading

Looking for free stuff? Here’s a list of free monthly activities to do in Maine for 2017.

Last September, my family and I did the Living Well Spending Zero challenge from Ruth Soukup. As part of the challenge, we spent minimal money for the entire month. No groceries, no entertainment, no take-out. We allowed ourselves a small amount of cash at the start of the month for minor necessities, and activities that had already been planned, but that was it. We ate through the food in our refrigerator and pantry, learned to ration our seltzer, and went to some free events like the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Overall, we did a great job, or at least until the last day of the month when our cat came down with a UTI, and we had to do an emergency visit to the vet complete with x-rays, anesthesia, and multiple antibiotics, all of which negated most of our savings from our zero spend month. Still it was a fun, creative experiment and one we would definitely try again. More importantly, our cat, other than one minor setback, is doing great now. Continue reading

Skating at Thompson's Point

Skating at The Rink at Thompson’s Point

You would think skating would be a pretty easy winter activity for us. We live on a lake. But, it’s complicated. Since we have neither the equipment nor the desire to shovel off a skating rink size area on the ice, which would allow us to actually skate, we have a wait and see approach. This means that usually once a year, we get enough rain, or the snow covering the ice melts, followed by a cold weather snap which freezes everything over and makes for a perfect day of skating.

We haven’t had those conditions yet, and our oldest had been asking, and asking, to skate so we finally decided it was time to venture out to an actual rink. But where should we go? Fortunately, a Facebook friend had posted a great sunset picture taken at The Rink at Thompson’s Point. It looked like a fun destination so we added it to our weekend activities list. Continue reading