Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eric's Sixtieth Celebrated at the Lodge

Born September 18, 1953, Eric celebrated his sixtieth on October 12, 2013 at the Lodge. The girls and I planned a "50's themed party"...costumes encouraged. The party started at 3:33 in honor of Eric's boyhood address of 1333 Peach Street and we had about 80 people attend. Since all the grandbabies and a few other children would be at the party, I created a drive-in with little cardboard cars (one of which was an Alpha)  to amuse them. We had 50's inspired food, and 50's music, 50's candies as favors, Cherry Cola spiked cherry rum punch, a special signature drink of Jack Daniels and apple cider with cinnamon stick and apple slice garnish  and banana splits for desserts. The kids all pitched in along with dear friends Sue and Kevin to buy Eric a kegorator for his new Pub. The kids saw that it was stocked with Allagash beer and that was certainly enjoyed by all! We thank all our dear friends who helped usher Eric into his next decade!

The Root Cellar Pub

A long time in the planning and a lifetime worth of collecting began to come together when in February of 2013 we went to Smith & May and purchased a pellet stove fireplace insert and began construction of a hearth so that they could come install the stove in March. Many weekends of heating the basement with the kerosene heater followed. We added bricks around the support beams to form a table area and to tie the brick look elsewhere in the room. Itchy & Scratchy came and laid a rubberized membrane on the floor which goes about 10 inches up the walls and is spray foamed in place. They also spray foamed around the rim joist. This should really make the Pub an easy place to heat, but it also created a huge problem in framing in the walls as both top and bottom had these puffs of insulation protruding up to eight inches out from the cement walls. We were intending to strap and add polyiso insulation to the walls anyway, but these bumps were deeper than the 2 inches of board insulation we were planning to add. So, we ended up adding knee walls with 8 inch shelves around most of the room, a happy accident as they say as it gives me room for all my collectibles to be displayed as well as a place for drinks, snacks, etc. We laid 2x4's on top of the rubber membrane and they boarded over with 10" shiplap, sanded, stained and polyed (six coats) for a perfect pub floor.
What with all the outside work during the summer, and time to enjoy the cottage, we went into crunch mode in early September as we were having a sixtieth party for Eric at the Lodge October 12 and wished to have as much done as possible on the pub. We really did not wish to finish it as its christening is yet another great excuse to have another party!... but just to a useable state. We made it much further than we hoped and the family especially was amazed by what we had done. I must do another photo update to show you all the progress.

A Wonderful Summer for the Gardens

A summer that tested many gardeners what with a 15 inches of rain in May and a June where temps soared into the 90's for a week straight proved to be a great one at the Lodge. My hostas were in their glory with all the rain and they are well shaded, so the warm temps did them no harm. Everything else seemed to love what ever mother nature threw at them and now that most things are several years old, I am loving how things are progressing. I made a courtyard garden down by acorn and divided some of my Krossa Regal hostas, phlox, helenium, autumn joy sedums and popped in 50 or so marigold seedlings to make a splendid new garden. I moved an azalea as well as added a new one to give some early spring color. The hosta courtyard garden was doubled in size and a forsythia hedge was planted to divide the play area from the gardens.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

A beautiful day at Oak Hill. A stereotypical Maine Easter with temps in the mid to high 50's but with some stubborn spots of snow and ice to remind you that winter has only begun to relent its icy grip. Thank goodness for mud boots! Some of the daffodils are up a good four inches. The crocuses are beginning to bloon and even the tulips and perennials are beginning to show their green sprouts. We missed Jess and fam, but the rest of us had a wonderful day full of jelly beans and chocolate eggs and of course, ham and lamb prepared by Pam!
Oh how warm and cozy! Now we can finish up the masonry work and clean up the bricks and then comes the floor, then the walls, then the really fun part... DECOR! I have so many ideas spinning in my head I just can't wait! There are so many things in the upstairs of the Lodge that have just been waiting for the Root Cellar Pub to be completed, it will be great to move them to their real home.
Another little girl joins the Oak Hill Lodge Crew! What fun she will have running around with her cousins and playing hide and go seek with Nana and Gran. We are so happy to have your little soul in our family. Joined the ranks February 16, 2013.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Blizzard of 2013

February 9 & 10 brought a record breaking 30 inches of snow to the Portland jetport and although it was impossible to measure, similar amounts to Raymond Court, Blackwater Cove and Oakhill Lodge. We were lucky at Raymond Court as the winds drove the snow in such a manner that the driveway was largely sheltered from the drifts, the deck catching the brunt of them. We heard reports from Bob and Stephanie that the Cove was a wild place and the winds brought down yet more trees and that the plowing proved to be quite a challenge. The Lodge was really the funny one. The wind drove the snow right across the field, creating a ramp over the gardens in front of the Lodge, allowing the snow to go right up onto the deck until it hit the building whereby it backfilled 42 inches deep on the entire deck! Fearing the forecast of rain on Monday which would make the snow impossibly heavy, we took the snowblower and the ramps up to the Lodge on Sunday and four hours later completed the task of shoveling the deck. The snow was so deep I had to knock it into the snowblower's path as it could not handle the depth.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Root Cellar Pub

The Lodge has a full basement and we have chosen to name it The Root Cellar Pub both to play up the Oak theme and to honor the relatives who have helped to make Eric and I as well as our children and grandchildren who they are today. The 30 foot x 30 foot space was just fitted with a rubberized pad to prevent moisture from wicking up through the floor and spray foam insulation was sprayed around the rim joist and around the top of the matting to seal it  against the walls. I & S Insulation did a great job for us and we are anxious to proceed with both the wooden floor and the walls. First we must install a hearth so that Smith & May can bring a pellet stove insert to make it nice and toasty. We have received a pallet of bricks from Hunt Brothers Lumber and will begin work as soon as weather allows. In the bottom picture you can see the rest of the basement rooms in the background. Eric's workshop is on the right hand side and my art/hobby/storage room is on the left.

Robert... The Bearer of Good News

Robert is our good friend who lives at the Lodge even when we can't be there. From the early days when the Lodge was newly walled and roofed, he has stood there ready to announce all the events that are held at the Lodge. Named in honor of my dear Uncle Robert Bartlett without whom the Lodge would never have been... he now has the dubious distinction of being the title of one of my Pinterest boards. Here I gather lots of fun lettering styles, heart-warming messages and design ideas to use in the future and will post designs I have come up with in the future.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stocking Time!

We always opened our stockings just before we ate the traditional Baked Stuffed French Toast casserole as the girls were growing up. So, it is with our bigger family. The only difference is that Santa does not fill the stockings at the Lodge... but rather, we swap names and fill them for each other. It would be a lot for Santa to fill stockings at each of their houses AND at the Lodge... so we all decided that it would be good to give Santa a break. All of us have special Lodge Christmas stockings which I asked everyone to make reflecting something of their personalities. We have a high-heeled Christmas stockings, Carhardt, hockey skates, beautiful patchwork, tooled leather, stuffed toy themed one... quite the variety!  I love using my green and red transfer plates for one of the Christmas meals, saving the Spode for dinnertime. It is a magical time of the year.
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All the kids gave us a new kitchen island counter for Christmas. It is a beautiful piece of charcoal granite with green highlighting. Pictured here however is what the island looked like after Eric chipped off all the terra cotta tiles which used to top it. The tiles were lovely but difficult to clean the grout as that island sees SO much activity when we all gather. It is literally the "hub" of the Lodge.
Not only that, but since the Lodge truly belongs to all of us, it will be very nice to have a piece of Morning Star granite installed by Drew in such a prominent place in the building. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness and generosity... too much!!!!!
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... and to All a Good Night

It doesn't get much more romantic than this... I love the bedroom in its Christmas garb.
It also gave me the opportunity to learn something about the man I have been married to for 38 years.
He has really thin eyelids! We have a joke between us, I can sleep anywhere, anytime... but he is more selective about his environment. I would love to sleep with the Christmas lights shining Christmas spirit down upon me, but Mr. Eric cannot sleep in this manner as the brightness keeps him awake!
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 Allen Family Christmas was blessed with a fresh snowfall, making the slight hill that runs down toward the event feel perfect for little tots sledding. It was great excercise for Kat, Eric and I... especially pulling
them in the sleds on the Woods Walk! The snow was about 10" deep
so we could feel the old "thigh burn". The kids got all the experiences of
 winter sledding, crashes, tipping over, white-washing, snow up the snow
pants, down the boots and in the mittens. They went into the warm Lodge
red-cheeked and ready for hot chocolate! We were a bit worried about Drew and Vanessa travelling up to the Lodge as it was snowing quite hard at Oak Hill. To our surprise they reported that the roads were completely dry until they hit Edgecomb.... "Ha", I said, "just the way I

ordered it. I asked if we could have a picturesque snow falling, but only at the Lodge!"

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