Sheepscot General Store

Driving past the hayfields, you would never expect to come upon a store. Especially one like this.

Or maybe this is exactly where a store like this should be.

Ben Marcus and Taryn Hammer have done an amazing thing with a store that had been closed for years. They reopened it and re-established a community base and hub that had been vacant for years. Whitefield is a center place for an amazing number of farmers and craft people, and here they gather and exhibit their wares. For years, those of us that had grown up in the sweetness of the Uncas Farm store missed it’s community. However, 15 years ago, it was nothing like what Ben and Taryn have turned the place into.  Yoga classes, talks, dance classes, a lending library, movies, take out pizza (with organic, local and even gluten free options!!!), an open mike night- hosted by Bert Koller, and an incredible selection of the region’s finest foods, beers, and craft-ables.  It is a market all it’s own.

Ben is the man out in the fields, more often then not, while Taryn “mans” the store. From outside perspective it is a dream come true, working a farm with your sweetheart and making it all work. The social involvement and community eyes must make for an interesting and very busy life. I applaud my dear friends, Ben and Taryn. They have a strength for this sort of endeavor that is rare. What is truly wonderful is that it’s worked. Every single ounce of it.

(this was the greeting my daughter got… although she did give me a hug…)

the spring tree/plant sale. Hard to walk away empty handed… (I sure didn’t…)

best deal around for a cup of coffee…not only that, but like any well known cafe, they have WIFI, so you can sit for hours and make that joe LAST… (that is, if you don’t have children or a life to attend to…)

Great beverage selection…and right by that is the bulk snack shelves, which my youngest took it upon herself to rearrange. Multiple times.

“Folk Art” as Ben puts it. (That is Taryn and my little one lost in the lid selection.)

For more information about Sheepscot General, visit their site. They are host to many activities and festivities through the year- which are great fun for all. Enjoy the beautiful country on the way up! (And stop in at some of our favourite farms!! Treble Ridge, Thirty Acre, and Swallowtail Farm and Creamery. )

(ida)

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Dot’s Ice Cream

Out of the blue and almost late, we decided to check out this new ice cream shop in Bath.

Ok, Ok, it has been there probably a year.

Dot’s has Shaun’s of Maine ice cream, which neither of us had ever tried, and it was quite the experience. They have a BRIGHT blue variety called “H2O.”

This little shop has quite the extensive menu and seems to be a hot spot for the younger crowd, especially the 14 to 18 crew.

My girl loved her “soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles.”

Dot’s is a very classic ice cream shop, with tons of offerings. Very unique flavour combinations and super friendly service.

My girls loved it (the wee one spent the whole time running around and climbing up on the child size tables…!), and for me it made me remember how going out for ice cream as a kid is a major event. So much to choose from, so many options. Some times so much that it’s easier to just pick the same thing every time. My girl is in that kick, thanks to her buddy Logan. Very very sweet to watch her in her independence by her choice of ice cream flavour. To each their own.

(ida)

The Alewives Return

No, not married women who drink ale. Fish. Specifically, this fish.

The  alosa psueodoharengus. Read more about the alewife here.

We are lucky enough to live close to Damariscotta Mills, which is technically located in Newcastle. Every year the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder plays host to thousands of migrating alewives. It’s the oldest alewife fishery in the state of Maine! Watching the alewives return is an amazing sight. The water literally goes black with the fish and the gulls and other birds of prey have a grand time with an easy catch. So, we caught a break in the rain and decided to go welcome them back as they make their journey upstream to Damariscotta Lake.

I really wish I had caught a picture of the bald eagle we saw swooping down to pick up a fish. It was majestic. In a purple-mountained sort of way. Nature at her most impressive.

This makes an awesome field trip for any child fascinated by nature (wait, so any child!), but my one year old was also thrilled by the circling seagulls. We incorporated a study of the alewife into our lessons this week, so Emmaline recited fish facts while watching the action.

Memorial Day weekend will be a perfect time to go visit, as it’s the annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival. Their website promises a great time: “Join the fun as local cooks create special food–a pig roast on Saturday, homemade donuts and a chicken barbecue on Sunday, and lobster and crab rolls on Monday. There will be live music, activities for kids, demonstrations…probably even some smoked alewives to try.”

We attended last year and can attest that it IS a great time. There was a fantastic fish-centric puppet show and delicious food. Our favorite fabric store, not-so-coincidentally-named Alewives, also located in Damariscotta Mills, always joins in the festivities. According to their website, “Here at the shop, we’ll be painting faces, showing the Alewife documentary, selling ice-creams and sodas, and helping to raise money for the Fish Ladder Restoration Fund. A wonderful time is had by all on this very special weekend, and we can’t think of a better time to visit the shop!” I couldn’t have put it better myself! Any excuse to pick up some new fabric….

So, get yourself over to the fish ladder and mark the festival on your calendars!

(Erin)

Rain, rain, rain

It’s been raining for days. Well, seemingly.

Enough so that we feel soaking wet, through and through and the laundry won’t dry.

I’ve been laying in bed for what feels like hours before finally at four am, I slowly sneak out from under the covers and try not to wake anybody up.

This mama has an early morning almond butter and jam sandwich addiction.

Sitting at the computer, listening for the rustling of sheets, I eat my sandwich. Sip a cup of tea. Think how sometimes I wish I could sleep just a bit later so the pounding in my head would go away.

Thinking about this site, as I look over our pages. Realize that we agreed to keep the extreme personal to a minimum. Not very good at keeping to that, am I?

Thinking we need to get back our joy of the just beginning- that inspiration and drive to make changes in it and the creativity of a project.

Two mamas working out the bits and pieces of brand new homes (building, moving into, finding, repairing…etc…) and one mama drowning in working from home  and the challenges of single motherhood. Making this for a challenging project. No need for excuses, but the simple of facts. Making ends meet has always been a dilemma. We are nothing new.

Watching our children, day in day out. The adventures of homeschooling and of early toddler hood. With it’s many and very different bits and pieces. Us mamas on similar paths, but oh so very different when it comes down to the passing of days. Our menus are always different, just like our shopping lists.

The rain keeps falling.

And I listen for my wee one. Wondering when she will wake. We’ve slept terribly these past nights. One more spring cold, keeping her head full and me just from sleeping deeply.

I imagine the garden seeds I planted just before the rain. And the plants I delivered to a friend’s doorstep yesterday afternoon. He said he would put them in before the rain.

Feeling the damp soaking into our roots. Nourishing, quenching and fulfilling.  Our days full of this, the growth and sweetness of spring.

Country Road

The rain in Maine falls mainly on the… everywhere. Is there an end in sight? Despite the general dreariness of late, we did get a bit of sun last weekend and I found myself reveling in the particular luxury of only one baby, one stroller, one Sunday afternoon and one lovely coastal road to meander.

Is there anything lovelier than a country road in the springtime?

The sun-dappled shadows of trees on the road, the stone walls, the green grass, the smell of apple blossoms… balm for the soul.

In springtime in Maine, there is no shortage of newly sprung wild vegetation and flowers along the roadside to entice even the most novice of naturalists. A good Wordsworth-like walk is not complete without noticing the green and growing delights of the countryside. I found emerald moss, trout lilies, bluets (or “Quaker Ladies”), dog violets, blueberry blossoms, apple blossoms, and fiddleheads. And stone walls and old romantic farmhouses.

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I hope you find your  own country road and wish you many peaceful miles.

(Erin)

Mad chaos.

The mamas  at Your Mid-coast Mama have been having quite a spring. If it wasn’t sick kiddos, it was sick mamas. And if everybody was healthy, then it was pouring down rain so hard you couldn’t even open the front door. Which meant NO play dates. No field trips. No picnics on the rocks. No babies crawling/stumbling/toddling with their mamas close behind.

It has, however meant flowers are blooming, trees are budding (and bursting!), coffee is being drunk (or homemade lemonade- hot with honey!), and fabulous baking being done.

We have no excuse.

Life has gone on and we’ve been miserable at the inspiration thing.

I apologize.

(ida)