Monday, January 19, 2015

The Portland Art Museum

The colder weather makes it difficult to visit new places. When there is a negative twenty-four degree windchill you do not really feel like venturing out too much. Christopher and I did brave the weather a few weeks ago and visiedt the Portland Art Museum. I mostly wanted to visit the museum because they had a British art exhibit with six hundred years worth of art.

Queen Elizabeth I.


One thing that I really enjoy about the Portland Art Museum is that there is a great variety of art. If you like modern art, head to the third and fourth floors. If you like art from the nineteenth century and before, stay on the first and second floors. I think this makes it a museum that a number of people can enjoy.


This was our favorite painting. The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius by Benjamin West. My sad little camera phone does not do it justice.

This was from the fourteenth century and by far the oldest work in the museum.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hadlock Pond- Acadia National Park


Our friends Rhonda and Charlie gave us a pass to Acadia National Park for Christmas! We decided to use our pass two days after Christmas. We drove toward Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island and hiked around Hadlock Pond. The trail around Hadlock Pond intersects with one of the carriage roads which leads up to Bald Peak.




The hike was ridiculously gorgeous. The day was clear and in the forties. We had an unusually warm Christmas, so many of the plants were still alive and kicking. We thoroughly enjoyed our hike and cannot wait to return to Acadia.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Brewer Waterfront


I hope that everyone had a lovely and safe holiday. We spent the Christmas morning at home and the evening at our friend Rhonda's home. The day after Christmas was quite relaxing. We watched Star Wars Episode IV and then went for a short walk on the Brewer Waterfront.


The Brewer Waterfront has a nice walkway and a cute little garden area where people can actually plant their own flowers or herbs. It is a nice spot and good for a brisk but refreshing walk.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Light Chasing

Home on Eastern Avenue in Brewer
 Christmas light chasing is definitely a tradition in my family. We love finding the gaudiest neighborhoods and the most elaborate homes. For those in Brewer, go to Gettysburg Avenue. Those people really go to town with their lights!

Home in Gettysburg Avenue neighborhood

Home in Gettysburg Avenue neighborhood

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread


I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin seeds, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ice cream, and especially, pumpkin bread. This recipe is perfect for pumpkin cravings and for the holiday season. It is adapted from this recipe.



Ingredients
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 can squash puree 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans or two
    9 x 5 pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together  purees, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Christmas Photo Shoot.



I made an advent calendar for Christopher this year. It has a mixture of candy and holiday activities. I tried to choose activities that I knew Christopher would enjoy. So far we have gone to a brewery, had a game night with Christmas music and watched a Christmas movie (The Holiday Inn). Today we did a photo shoot because Christopher and I both love fiddling with the camera.




 We are not going home for Christmas so we have made a real effort to do festive activities. The holidays can often be a quite depressing time of year, so I think it is important to have fun and remember what the season is really about.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Monks and Beer

In case you had not noticed, Christopher and I love beer. We love tasting new beers, going on beer tours, and showing our love for our local breweries. We could not resist when we heard that Friar's Brewhouse was doing an open house.

Friar's Brewhouse is run by the monks of the St. Elizabeth Monastery in Bucksport, Maine. Their Whoopie Pie beer one an award at the Bangor Beer Festival this summer. This was their first open house and they plan on hosting one each season.


Christopher and I loved talking to the monks. They were incredibly friendly and were willing to talk about anything and everything. Their Saint Nicholas Ale was simply delicious and we purchased a bottle to crack open on Christmas Day.

It doesn't hurt that their monastery is absolutely peaceful and beautiful.


We are looking forward to trying out what else they have in store!