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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Follow me on Instagram for more updates and photos.

Adventure Awaits

They said it wouldn’t freeze until November 5th, at least that’s what one weather station predicted. About five days ago, the light freeze darkened nearly all the plants. Good thing I prepared the days before. The other plants I didn’t care about, they had already produced all their vegetables, but the tomatoes and peppers still had a lot to give.

The last 2021 vegetable harvest.

I searched every tomato branch and picked every decent-size green tomato. I picked every decent-size sweet bell pepper, even a hand full of jalapenos. It brought enough sweet bell peppers for two chili ralleno meals and I think three half-pint jars of canned jalapenos.

Mom pre-fried and froze half of the sweet bell peppers. So, they’re ready whenever she decides to make chili rellenos again. I don’t make them. She usually makes some when we come over for lunch or she’ll bring me a few. And they are always really good! She fallows a memorized recipe she learned from her mom years ago. I have never had a chili relleno in a restaurant, but I imagine they taste very different, considering the dough we use is the same dough we use to make our own version of crepes.

Which is also very good! You make one crepe, set it aside, make another crepe, but leave it in the pan. Then spread whichever fruit you’d like onto the crepe in the pan, add sugar over the fruit, drizzle dough on the edge around the crepe, place the first crepe over the fruit, and ceil them together with the dough you drizzled around the edge.


Fall deep cleaning began on the last Monday in September, at dawn. That week, the men had a lot of alfalfa baling to do almost every morning, giving me the chance to start early. Because of that, I was able to take half of Wednesday off to have coffee with my mom and friend/brother’s girlfriend at the farm.

By Friday at five or six, I dumped the last bucket of water out and threw the last cleaning towels in the hamper. A few of my other chores got neglected, but it all worked out.

Now I just have to thoroughly clean the shop/garage. I’m waiting to do that until the first week of November. After our trip to Maine. Also, then my husband will have his Duramax finished and I won’t have to clean around it. I can back it out. That’s what I was waiting for.

On Saturday, after I finished deep cleaning, I did decorate the front porch area. On that day we had crisp, rainy weather and my husband didn’t have to work, so we went to the local coffee shop. We’d only done that once before, when the shop first opened, so it was a real treat. The atmosphere and the drinks . . . everything is so good there, I don’t know why we don’t go more often. You can definitely tell that the owners put a lot of thought and effort toward it.

I started decorating after the coffee shop trip. I’m happy with how the porch turned out. I’m definitely growing pumpkins again next year. It’s worth it, even if I just use them for decoration. I might try to make a puree out of them yet. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to do that though. Maybe around thanksgiving.

To celebrate . . . we went shopping!

We didn’t go crazy or anything, only walked out with a few bags. πŸ˜€ But I did buy a puzzle and a piece of fabric for a dress from Hobby Lobby. I asked my mom if she wanted to go to town with me. We had both just finished deep cleaning, and I thought as a treat, why not spend the afternoon browsing. So, that’s what we did. Of course, we had to get a coffee as well. (haha)

But I made the dress that next week yet. I also sewed a bunch of other things. At least I considered it a bunch. I tried making a t-shirt for the first time and it worked out. But I don’t think I used the right fabric. The apron I made, didn’t turn out like I thought it would, but it did work out and I’m using it all the time now. It might be my favorite.

Apple Pie. Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.

Other than that, homemaking and writing keep me busy lately. The garden is cleaned up, all except the carrots, which I’m hoping to harvest as I need them, until the hard frost comes. A layer of manure is resting on the soil. Once we get back from Maine, I hope to spread straw over it yet. Then I can forget about gardening for five months. Except the occasional watering, to help breakdown the manure. Though, I’m hoping we get a lot of snow.

Hoping to Celebrate Three Years in Maine

My husband and I are flying to Boston, then driving up to Maine next week. Our third year anniversary is coming up. We love to take a trip around that time. Just a few days every year to get away, just the two of us and explore the country. In a few years, or so, we’re hoping to start traveling all over the world.

We did not know where to go this year! I think we thought of every corner of the U.S–for sure every corner, and so many places in between. But in the end, we decided on Acadia National Park.

I’m planning on packing a lot of layers. The weather stations predict fifty degree weather for the time we’ll be there. And we’ve been having seventy to eighty degree weather here. (It’s unusually warm, I think, for this time of year.) The temperature’s supposed to rise up to forty-four again at night next week, then rise thirty degrees by the afternoon.

Anyways, next month sometime, I’ll talk more about the trip. What we did and how it went. πŸ™‚


Lazy Autumn Sunday at the lake.

I am going to go clean the Denali, maybe go to the bank yet, and then start dinner. Roasted Cornish hens are on the menu for tonight. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. (haha) But I better get on with my day.

Thank you for letting me share what I’ve been up to. πŸ™‚

As always, I hope you all are having a good day, and I’ll talk to you next time.

Until then,

Maria

Follow me on Instagram @marialoewen99

Where’s your Christmas Spirit?

I don’t know about y’all, but my favorite part about Christmas is getting into the Christmas spirit. Until now I worked and worked, all the while not realizing I was to busy to enjoy Christmas. I started listening to Christmas music in the beginning of November, then stopped somewhere in the middle of all the ruckus.

noelThen we started working on the fields again! (You never know what will happen with Kansas weather.)

Now–obviously, Christmas is coming around the bin and I’m not done with my shopping. I told myself, ‘this year I’m going to keep on top of things and be done with everything before December’. Then enjoy the simple love of the Christmas season. We’ll . . . look at me, now instead of getting into the Christmas spirit I’m racking my brain and searching every store and every site for the perfect gift; focused on cleaning everything. Now? What time does this leave for making candy with my brother? Singing Christmas songs with the family, while decorating the Christmas tree. Reading the Christmas story, as everyone snuggles on the couch with the fireplace crackling. Packing food baskets to give to the needy or goody plates to give to our neighbors?

 

I have decided I’m going to set my mind to ease and start singing rather than stressing. I think that ought to put me in the Christmas spirit!

Five Christmas Traditions Your Family Might Enjoy

  1. Find a tasty recipe for homemade candy or chocolate and try making it as a family.
  2. Bake homemade goodies and bring your neighbors a goody plate.
  3. Make gingerbread houses.
  4. Read the Christmas story as a family.cute-christmas-tree_1048-3370
  5. Go ice skating.

Interesting ways that Might Help you get Into the Christmas SpiritΒ 

  • Listen to as much Christmas Music as you can handle.
  • Go for a walk downtown when all the lights are out.
  • Give from your heart–to anyone at any time.
  • Share the love that was born on Christmas day.Β 
  • Set cozy feel to your home with, goodies, decorations or plain love and laughter.Β