Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Up Here!

Brrrr, weather report is for sub-zero temps at night this weekend and only up into the single numbers during the day! Well, it is late January, and it is Maine. This means that work at the Lodge will be confined to the basement until temperatures become more reasonable. It hardly makes sense to try to heat up the entire building which takes the best part of a day to do, only to have one day of warmth when there is plenty to do in the basement which hangs in there at around 34 degrees no matter what the outside temps. A little space heater to occassionally warm the fingers and we are good to work.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Allen Family Christmas Snow

Although we had a magical snow just a week before Christmas, we had a warm rain before the big day actually arrived. This took most of the snow away for "Real Christmas". It didn't matter too much because we had the forecast of snow on the 26th which was to be the Allen Family Christmas... and it was not to start until after all the kids had arrived safely at the Lodge. I was secretly hoping it would be an even bigger storm than it turned out to be so we would all get snowed-in! I took this photo just before dark. It looks like Mother Nature is decorating with Christmas balls of her own! We got another 8-10 inches giving us the chance to romp in the snow the next morning. It was a bit much for the kids who were not so fond of sledding despite Dad and Grandad making an excellent snow ramp down the Lodge stairs... and not so fond of trying to walk in snow up to their crotches.... They got a crash course in snow angels then it was down to "high ground" in the playhouse until fingers began to freeze.
Even The Nursery was decked out for the holidays! Although I much prefer the look of green plants in the greenhouse and green plants in the raised beds... this was a beautiful sight. One of my goals in outside decor is to do more that is visible from inside the Lodge. When I was a "City Mouse" it made some sense to decorate for all the passerbys. Now that I am becoming a "Country Mouse" I have to ask myself how many people will get to see the Christmas lights. With outlying garden beds, I have a great opportunity to add lights which I can view from the nice warm confines of the Lodge which will give both passerbys and Lodge guests a better show. Warning: this may mean some additional electrical boxes are needed.

Christmas at the Lodge- 2010

We were blessed with two wonderful Christmasses this year! We celebrated with Vanessa, Drew and Lawson on the 25th and with the entire clan on the 26th! Our 18 foot tree provided the perfect centerpiece for the family to gather around and with all the presents, the girth of the tree was a very good thing. Eric and I will remember actual Christmas as the Year Christmas Came in a Matchbox.... car that is! I was lucky enough to find a deal on about 30 matchbox cars at the MMHL sale which made their way under the tree all individually wrapped and kept Lawson busy all day long unwrapping them. The amazing thing was that he immediately knew they were for him by the size alone... and he would go and get the next one anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour after opening and appreciating the last. It was both heartwarming and a real testament to the art of "slow gift opening". The next day, with so many gifts to open, that luxury was impossible to duplicate! What a pile of presents! It was an entirely different kind of fun... a wild, confusing, but yet a wonderful kind of fun. A kind of fun that is fleeting... as children grow, as lives change... as circumstances may not always allow us to capture. I think back to the chaos of Christmasses when the girls were small. It always brings a smile to my face and as funny as it may sound, I really missed it... but now it is back! The main "mistake" I made was Christmas Dinner. We had munched most of the afternoon and it had been a huge day. Everyone was tired by the time I got dinner to the table... and dinner was too big and too complicated; roast beef and lobsters for the main course. Peighton wanted desperately to go to bed, Lawson needed to get on the road back to his house, Alexa was holding on by a thread, and Adelle just plain fell asleep in her dinner! A new game plan will be in affect for next year! But, as I lay in bed preparing to drift off to a much deserved rest, I found myself being so thankful to my girls, their families, and my Mr. Eric for giving me such a wonderful holiday.

The Guardians of the Lodge

Our faithful friends who travel up to the Lodge each time we do, just as excited to be there as we are. They run the field, sniff the woods, hunt for chipmunks, throw sticks in the air and play fetch with themselves... and just plain add a lot of joy to our lives. We love and appreciate them each and every day.

Flashback to Fall

I love this picture of Nutshell... and even so it was taken at Thanksgiving prior to the last post, I just want to put it in as a "pat on the back" to Eric and I for having started this project long before it would have appeared to be necessary. Particularly, Lawson and Alexa, just love it! Both at Thanksgiving and even Christmas, Nana played with each of them until fingers began to get too cold. Then, thanks to laundry baskets and sleds, we simply piled the toys up and shuttled them up to the Lodge. Not quite the same as playing at Nutshell, but much warmer!

Winter Comes to the Lodge

Just before Christmas we got a beautiful 8" snowfall. Bath only got an inch or so, but Nobleboro was blanketed. We had hung the lights the weekend before, so I was all set to take some pictures!

Thanksgiving at The Lodge

The way time goes, Thanksgiving is a bit of a blurry memory, that is
for sure, but I was hoping that the family photo would not represent that! UGH!
The turkey is far sharper than the "flock of turkeys" I really wanted you to see. We had a wonderful time and were really blessed to have the Mulligans as guests. I am glad they are familiar with large family broohas, so it didn't come as too much of a shock to dine with our
family! There were so many things to be thankful for this year, from weddings to beautiful Baby Peighton, to three other bright, beautiful and healthy grandbabies, to my wonderful husband, to a good year at the print shop, to more gardens added, to seeing some wonderful family and dear friends throughout the year... well, the list goes on and on. But, one of the main things I was thankful for is the beautiful finish on the Lodge floor! Hallelujiah!

Ready, Set.... Well, at least we're ready!

This fall, we managed to complete, (minus a couple trim boards) the driveway end of the Lodge peak. We did the opposite end in time for Erica and Casey's wedding, but this one was of less importance so we waited until fall. Although we have already done a fair amount of research on zero clearance wood burning fireplaces, we have decided that such a big expense, around $8,000 without the chase built, deserves more consideration, so we backed off our big push to get it in for this heating season. We have left the open area ready to build the chase as soon as our decision seems right. We are now discussing the "Mud Room" entryway we wish to put on this end, to help with the blast of cold which enters the Lodge each time the center front door is opened. We hope to also get that underway next summer. In the meantime, we will just enjoy... no more "tinfoil"... insulation showing on the building!