Candy Canes and Turkeys. I’m here for it all.

I didn’t want to leave. The sun shone on our last day there, the warmest it shone all week long. It made the water look bluer and the sailboats whiter. I saw every island in sight, dotted with trees, some reached the water, while other trees stopped at the rocky edge. Even the pool seemed inviting as I stood on our hotel room patio, viewing the ocean.

The view from our hotel’s restaurant. Luckily, we had the same view from our room.

I wanted to walk the streets, lined with colorful buildings of all kinds, such as: coffee shops, ice cream shops, bookstores, souvenir shops, museums, restaurants, water sports and bike rentals. But we had a five hour drive down the cost to Bosten. We spent two wonderful days in Bar Harbor and saw all the beauty of Acadia National Park. Maine looked just like it does in the pictures, whimsical and breath taking,

Sadly, most of the activities had shut down for the season a few weeks before we visited. I would gladly go again when everything was in season, but I doubt we ever will. Most likely, we’ll travel to different places.

I want to show my husband the geysers at Yellowstone, the cliffs of the Grand Canyong. I have high hopes of traveling to Caramel by the Sea, California. I want to visit the Red Wood Forest, Yosemite National Park, I would even want to know the feeling of driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. One day, I want to land in Iceland and kayak on a still, crisp morning. I want to walk the Caribbean beaches with my husband; hear German spoken in its own country. (My first language is low-German.) I want to hear the lakes freeze and the see northern lights shimmer in Switzerland.

If we plan another far away trip, then I hope it’ll be somewhere new. Except for Hawaii. Ask me anytime and I’ll hastily travel there again.

But as far as Bar Harbor, Maine goes, it’s definitely worth the visit. We went in late October. The weather was doable, we still enjoyed ourselves, but it was cold, rainy and somewhat windy. Some of the leaves were starting to fall, leaving some trees bare. But for the most part, the leaves still held their marvelous colors.

I expected it to be very empty that late in the year, but it was surprisingly full. Not compared to what I hear it is during the summer. Compared to what I heard, it was empty.

Any hiking trail is beautiful, but my favorite was the precipice trail. We didn’t go up all the way, although I wish we would have. We started late and wanted to avoid the dark. Also, we doubted our ability to complete it. We heard the trail ends up being mostly iron steps up steep edges.

If you ever end up planning a trip to Acadia National Park, read blog post and watch YouTube videos. They’ll help you learn everything there is to do, what not to miss and what to avoid. And if you end up staying in Bar Harbor, eat at Blaze Bar and Grill. We ate at a different place every time and out of them all, this one was amazing.

Lastly, we stayed at the Harborside Hotel, and I highly recommend this place. The service was incredible. The entire place made me feel like I was on a cozy, dreamy vacation. Originally, we booked with Holiday Inn, because when we reserved our trip, Harborside was fully booked. But when we wanted to check into Holiday Inn, they said “we’re closing our hotel, so, we reserved you a room at Harborside.” This was s complete surprise, yet a truly welcomed one.

I think we would have been happy with Holiday Inn as well. Either way, there aren’t a crazy number of good hotels in Bar Harbor, but enough to ensure a good stay. So, make your pick, whichever one works best for you, but if you’re ever wondering, you won’t regret staying at Harborside.

Back to Now

Fall continues to linger into December. Yesterday was the first day that it truly felt like the Christmas season. The day before Willie and I played tennis in warm, sunny weather. Later we watched the Christmas parade, outside in windy, cold weather. (haha) That night it dropped to fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. Sometime this week, it’s supposed to creep up to the low sixties again

. Hopefully by Christmas the cold temperatures will have settled, and we’ll be knee deep in snow. Though, that might be wishful thinking. 🙂

We ate two Thanksgiving meals this year. (And there’s yet more turkey to be had on Christmas day at my in-law’s.) Both meals tasted great. At my parent’s house, my brother’s girlfriend brought a peakon pie that melted in one’s mouth. Absolutely delicious. My mom made all the yummy fixings, and I brought the turkey, I think next time I bake a turkey I will insert melted butter with all the seasoning into the turkey.

Or I might try a recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. My friend did that when they had us over, and that turkey was probably the best turkey I have ever tasted.

With all the good food, our amazing family and awesome friends, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. There truly is so much to be thankful for. Not just on Thanksgiving, but all year. God is good all the time.

Christmas in Full Swing

Willie and I set up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day. After, I decorated the house with everything I found in my four boxes of Christmas decor. Now our three-bedroom trailer home reminds me of all the Christmas puzzles and calendars.

I’m half-way done with my shopping. Most of which I bought on black Friday. But I still have to finished shopping for Willie, and I have no idea what else to get him! I’m shopping for four men this year and all of them are hard to shop for. (haha)

In the three weeks until Christmas, I hope to sew one skirt, one dress. Bake Christmas goodies, give some of those away in neat packages to our friends and neighbors, go ice skating and drink many cups of hot coco. For the goodies, I hope to make kringel with my mom (a Russian Mennonite food), and some of the American seasonal sweets. Baking together around the holidays is something I always look forward to.

This week, I hope to at least sew the skirt. I want to clean the garage, and one day this week, I’m planning on helping my mother-in-law paint. With my routine house chores and my writing, I’m finding it hard to squeeze in extra work. I feel like I’m always saying, “oh, I’m not busy,” yet then I go down my list of things to do and I can’t seem to do them all. (haha)

I always want to make sure I leave time to spend with my husband and my family. Some time with the Lord, and some time for myself. Otherwise, I can’t imagine that I’d be a joy to hang out with. (haha)

I also need to figure out what I want to serve for our friends Christmas dinner. Willie and I are hosting this year, it’s over a week away, and I have no idea what I’m going to make . . .

The clock is ticking. Literally. It’s about to strike nine. It’s time I call it a night.

I will write to you in January. When the days are short, and the boredom seems everlasting. Unless we visit my family in Mexico. That’ll add some spice to the hibernating winter days. (haha) I would like to visit with relatives again. 🙂

Anyways . . . thank you allowing me to share what I’ve been up to. I’m grateful that you stopped by. I hope you have a joyful Christmas and that you feel God’s peace and love, especially during this season.

Wishing the best to all of you,

Maria 🙂

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Exciting things are happening in the garden . . .

It was a pleasant day. The sun gleamed on the ripening pumpkins, providing the perfect light for a quick photo, by my poor quality phone. (I refuse to get a new one until this one breaks.) Flies buzzed passed my ears, while others hovered over the dogs head, sneaking the occasional sting of blood from his ears. The dog huffed even under the shade of the small elm tree, for the weather wasn’t unbearable, but not enjoyable for a husky/golden retriever, with fur as think and long as broom bristles. I have planned to cut his hair this week yet. The groomer does an amazing job, but Buddy needs a trim so often it drains the stashed coffee pot. By grooming him myself a few times a year, I hope to save a few dollars.

I wanted these pumpkins for fall decoration, but looks like they’re going to be ready to early. 😛

After I swept the kitchen floor, made the bed, washed the dishes, tidied up around the house, and set out meat to thaw for lunch, I jogged down the porch steps and walked to the garden. I keep the garden hoe hung on the tomato trellis; it saves a lot of steps from the shed to the garden in the summer. But before I began the hoeing, I picked the ripe vegetables, brought them into the kitchen, washed them, then laid them out on a kitchen towel to dry before I set them aside for storage.

Today’s harvest.

My mom and I are planning on canning cucumbers tomorrow. We always can in her kitchen, she has all the supplies in her storage room. Because we share the produce in my garden, it makes me feel better about using her supplies and her kitchen.

The Days Spent at Home in the Kitchen

Plus, there is something about working in the kitchen you learned how to cook in. It brings back memories of “the old days.” When warm summer air seeped through the kitchen window screen, apple pie filling bubbled over the crust edging as it baked in the oven, and steak sizzled in the pan as it fried on the electric stove top. The best part was when I stepped out the dinning room doors and yelled toward the shop, “lunch is ready.” Mom would over hear, and everyone quit their task and walked toward the laundry room door. They would ooh and aww while they washed up. I would always stand beside the stove, my smile reaching across Kansas, while my brother taste tested the food. Obviously, I was proud of what I had created, because I didn’t cook often, growing up. That’s probably why I remember so vividly the times that I did cook; it was such a rare occasion.

Anyways, back to today . . .

A part of my garden (a far away look at the corn stocks).

Mom has planned to also cut and freeze sweet corn this week. We always get a big batch from our farmer friends. Because my family farms alfalfa hay, we don’t plant acres of sweet corn. It’s easy for the corn farmers, they just leave a patch in their feed corn crop for sweet corn and treat it exactly like they do their feed crop.

I’m growing corn in my garden this year, I tasted it this morning–I’m glad we got the farmer’s corn to rely on. This corn I planted–we’ll I musta done something wrong, it doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not as good as the farmer’s corn . . . oops. I’ll try again next year. 🙂

After I fried fish, cooked rice and steamed vegetables (for myself, Willie doesn’t eat veggies) for lunch, I washed dishes, mowed, trimmed, raked the cut grass and laid the grass out in my garden as mulch. This is the first year I’m laying down mulch in my garden. The books and YouTube videos I read and watch say, “do not let your ground be uncovered.” So far I’m seeing good results–also, it helps keep the weeds away. But I still have to cut a lot of grass before the garden is completely covered.

A few other chores were done, but we won’t go into detail about those.

I did put together the stand up mirror my husband gave me for my birthday though. Here’s the link to the one my husband got me, in case you’re looking for one. I’m loving it! You wouldn’t want to have it standing in a child’s room though, it seems to wobbly for that. The children might run into it and I don’t think it could withstand that. But it’s prefect for an adult’s room.

It’s seven thirty and Willie’s going to be home soon, so I’m gonna prepare dinner by reheating leftovers, 😛

Until next time,