We’re approaching the solstice, feeling the pressure of getting more done in a day than we have the energy or focus for…Maybe I don’t have the right to speak for “all of us” but I think you could listen in on most conversations at the coop and hear the same words.
I love this month’s darkness because it nudges me into my best creative brainstorming. The questions on the edges of my mind have been finding balance between social media contacts and face to face contacts…and how to manage a good balance between time with people and time alone completely engrossed in projects that feed my soul. All of this goes on within the schedule of doing campground and maker’s guild each day to keep the business moving forward in balance with studio time.
More and more, my phone tracks my days by making a visual recording that I can look back on when I can’t remember what I did this week. I’ve become dependent on the device in my pocket…like having an external hard drive for my memory…how cool is that? So my friends, this is what we’ve been up to these days…
Happy Chanukah and enjoy the solstice…we’re getting ready for the family to arrive for Christmas through the New Year and we still need to find our ornaments. We were going to put up a tree today but the forecasted high is 15 degrees so maybe we’ll wait a little while longer to go out and make the cut.
#1…The sky is clear blue, the oak trees still glow in orange and the seaweed is a beautiful shade of deep yellow-green. November is a glorious time to walk the beach and find shells and sea glass that get churned up from the weekly storms that seem to brew with more spectacular drama…and then all is calm and sparkling.
#2…We get to wear sweaters, boots and long scarfs that coordinate with our mittens. Don’t you just love wearing a completely new wardrobe? If you’ve got a memory as short as mine, it’s a surprise to see all the clothes I had completely forgotten about and can we talk comfort for a moment? This is the time of year to snuggle into thick cotton shirts, mohair sweaters (from our goats of course :)) and heavy socks in hiking boots…heaven.
#3…It’s the season of hygge…(sounds like who-ga). The Danish version of cocooning…snuggling in and practicing the art of slow living. Another way of saying it is the absolute knowledge that you are absolutely where you should be, when you should be…doing what you should be. It’s such a relief from feeling tugged in 50 directions when the days are long and warm.
#4…It’s totally OK to sleep 8 hours every night. When it starts to get dark at 3:30 and the sun doesn’t come up again until 7, who’s to say it’s wrong to snuggle into a warm bed at 9PM?
#5…It’s time to dive into a new project without interruption. For me it’s about spinning, knitting and weaving with friends in the studio. For Steve it’s about playing more music and planning concert dates and trips for the coming months.
#6…It’s time to make soup…and desserts…and try new recipes. By now our cold storage and refrigerator are overflowing with the late harvest and it’s a real responsibility to use up the baskets of green beans, carrots, beets, tomatoes and bell peppers before they become goat food. I love to pick out a cookbook, blow off the dust that’s accumulated since last March and start sampling new recipes and re-discovering old favorites. Last night was carrot pie from a Russian Vegetarian cookbook…how can a crust of butter, oat flour and sour cream be anything but exquisite when it’s filled with sweet and sour carrots and doused with chicken broth that has simmered all day long? And the calories don’t count because we worked outside in the cold and deserve to be pampered.
#7…In November, nobody judges when you curl up in a chair with a stack of magazines, a cup of cocoa and totally ignore the telephones and notification dings for hours on end once the sun slips behind the trees at 3 in the afternoon…or spend hours on the computer playing with the photos that go into a blog post ;).
#8…There’s a not so subtle nudge to get outdoors and hike before the snow flies…and before the waistline thickens (see #6) while the sun is still shining (see #6 to understand the potential conflict). The flock loves to walk on the beach nibbling seaweed so it seems that we do this every afternoon that the wind isn’t blowing us off our feet.
#9…I’ve start scrolling through podcasts while organizing the closets; I love ones that explore creativity, philosophy and humor. I’m continually amazed at how much quality content is available for free on the internet with a little bit of digging. Right now my favorite podcasts are the Creative Pep Talk, Fresh Air and The Daily and Philosophize This!
#10…It’s time to laugh and re-connect with friends & family…over coffee, over lunch, over drinks. Our friends understand that our lives are devoted to the responsibilities surrounding Campground and the Makers Guild from April until October…you might say that we binge on our friends the same way we binge on Netflix…and November is the month it all begins…more photos to follow…it seems I haven’t collected any good pictures of friends lately…huh.
There’s still two weeks left to enjoy, may we all make the most of it!
I can’t believe my summer here is almost over! (Well, except Fiber College of course.) I’ve met so many new people, created new memories and made connections I’ll never forget. Summer’s almost over but we haven’t slowed down. I set up an entire display window on Monday for Fiber College at the Belfast Chamber of Commerce. It came out super cool and I really enjoyed doing it. I volunteered to help with marketing this year and I’m happy to say that our numbers are up…although I participated on the Facebook page, my focus has been on Instagram…check out @fibercollege to see our pictures!
This past week I had the chance to be the artist in residence at the campground and it was so cool. I met so many kids from all over the world! I did quite a bit, from paintings to mini aquariums to sun catchers. I think I enjoyed my time more than the people who participated did! The weather was great all week so we sat outside and did artwork and crafting. It was really fun.
I also did quite a few beach walks this week! We found lot’s of invasive green crabs, urchins and hermit crabs. There is a type of seaweed that tastes like pickles, called Bladderwrack! There’s actually a lot of edible seaweed in Maine and it’s always fun to point it out. We also found a jellyfish this week! It was washed up on the beach but it was still super cool to see. I’ve been coming to this campground since I was 10 and I’m still finding new things everyday.
The eclipse was this week as well! We had about 60% coverage here in Maine. The eclipse that’s happening in 2019 however, is apparently suppose to have 100% coverage here in Maine. In the middle of the eclipse Astrig and I were walking and we happened to stumble upon a ‘luna moth’ caterpillar, which was an odd sign. Hopefully it brings us good luck!
To top off an amazing week, we got a baby goat! His name is Binx- like the genius cat from Hocus Pocus. He’s so sweet and he follows Lolli around everywhere… I am sure going to miss it here!
As I sit on the sun deck of the office writing this post, I can’t help but think about school starting again in just about a month. I signed a lease on an amazing home overlooking the bay. t’s less than a five minute drive to UNE, it’s a little red cottage, and I couldn’t be more excited. The best part about it is it has over flowing gardens. I’ve always been drawn to the soil and I can’t wait to watch the foliage change as the year goes on. At Searsport, there’s still new foliage and plants growing in everyday. I was gardening yesterday and a sweet bumblebee stopped by and said hello 🙂
As always, there’s been live music just about every night this week. Emily & I are still in the process of mastering our ukulele’s but getting a feel for the music really helps. Sometime’s we’ll jump in and if we ever get lost with all of the new chords, all we do is play a C cord and we sound -almost- like we belong. It’s really fun and I love interacting with the people who stay here!
On my off day, I’ve been exploring around Belfast and beyond. There’s always so much to do,
What a day it is today- the degrees are slowly nudging into the 80’s, with a cool breeze and a clear sky. I think my favorite part about living on the ocean is the smell- I have always loved the smell of the ocean (perhaps that’s why I’m a marine biologist). The past few days have been great- we got new t-shirts! Don’t worry, there are some for sale in the store so you can snag your own.
I am also officially the mother of two (cats) now! Emily and I were hiking in the middle of the woods, and we heard meowing. We were really confused, but kept walking. Eventually, this tiny white kitten popped out of the bushes- we decided to keep her and name her Pia. I have another child named Blaze, who is 17, and the biggest Maine Coon cat you’ll meet. They love each other which is awesome and Pia walks around the campground on a leash like a dog, so when you see us come say hello! Pia met Trevor yesterday and loves him.
The other day I got to go practice my screen printing with Susan Tobey-White. She’s actually offering some classes at fiber college this year! She’ll also be doing rolling classes, and her assistant will be on of my close friends, Allysun. Susan focuses on printing with everyday objects and working with texture- it was a really cool day off.
I also love doing the lobster bakes- serving has always been something I’m passionate about- along with customer service! I love talking to and mingling with the guests. This may be a little weird, but I also love the colors at the lobster bake. The food is right from the bay, or our gardens, so it’s super fresh, and the colors really pop.
Can’t believe I only have a month and a half left here, but I’m focusing on enjoying the moments now!
See you soon 🙂
Hello all! It’s been a great few weeks, even through all the stress. Our old computer system was hacked, so we switched everything over to a new site- on the fourth of July no less. We were all bored anyways- we wanted a challenge 😉
We were in the fourth of July parade, which was really fun. I never thought children were scary though. Not until I had a sack of candy, at least. I can’t tell you how many lollipops I threw that day, but every time I made eye contact I threw a handful. It was a great time, and seeing the community come together was a meaningful experience.
Lately I’ve been figuring out how to operate the new computer system, but when I’m not doing that I’m either mowing, weed whacking or hauling brush. I love being outside and being active, so any chore outside is great to me.
The weather has been great- the sweet peas, tomatoes and cherries are growing through the roof. The gardens are so beautiful, the bees are buzzing and making honey, and I’m so happy here! It’s really a special place. We had bubble blowing and hula hooping the other night- I’ve been practicing some new hooping tricks (not great at them) so if you see me around feel free to call me out on them! Emily and I also got to go to a Celtic music festival, I’m 25% Gaelic, so I knew some of the songs they were preforming.
I hope everyone has a great week. 🙂
Hey everyone, it’s been an interesting few weeks.
The weather has slowly progressed from ‘meh’ to ‘eh’ to ‘wow!’ It’s really starting to feel like summer here, and I love it. Although I’ve lived in Maine my entire life, the hotter the weather the better for me. I went kayaking last week when the weather hit the 90’s, and it was lovely. I hung around the ocean that day, and all of the sea urchins are starting to venture in.
My biggest project has been our new goat/sheep village- I want to call it Shearsport Shores. Emily and I were given five colors, blue, pink, green, yellow and orange- and were asked to combine them in such a way that they complimented and stood out from our huge billboards. We have a general store, a watch tower, two town houses, and a church! So far, Trevor and Ester have taken oven the church we have- not together of course. As soon as Trevor steps out, Ester runs right in! Lollie is enjoying the smallest house we have, and Maggie and Millie love the watch tower.
Another huge project we had was to tear our Store At The Shores apart. We ripped everything out and reorganized the entire store. On the plus side, it really came together beautifully and I’m excited to sell some lovely things very soon. We got these beautiful handmade ornaments in the store as well, they really stand out.
I think my favorite thing about working the store is asking the question “How did you hear about us?’ I was on the phone making a reservation yesterday and I guess Searsport Shores is a huge hit in the Smoky Mountains… how neat!
Looking forward to seeing you all.
We are currently fortunate to have a very experienced musician, Jeff Weinberger, coming in and teaching the entire staff to play ukulele. We had our first lesson on Thursday, and through all the laughter and strumming, we actually made serious progress. We learned multiple chords, and put them all together to play the song “Jambalaya” by Hank Williams.
Hey everyone! My name is Emily Corrales. I just graduated from the University of New England with a degree in Sports Management and minors in Business and Coaching. So what brings me here you ask? A new adventure in an unfamiliar place, I would say! I am a recent graduate originally hailing from Connecticut, and it is safe to say I had never been up this far into Maine (I even thought this was the top of the state, I was wrong. Apparently, there’s still five more hours to go…). So, when this opportunity arose I jumped on it immediately. I will be doing a little bit of everything this summer while enjoying my stay here at Searsport Shores. From gardening, woodworking, grounds keeping, to marketing for Searsport and all the events we host – keeping busy is not a concern of mine at al
My first few weeks have been neat. I’ve learned to drive every vehicle we have on the campground. From the tractors to golf carts to a mini manual tractor/car mix, I have loved every second.
Learning about new things has always interested me, and I am learning new things every day. I get to do a lot of agricultural work while I’m here, which is always nice. I love being outside and I love to garden, so Searsport is a great fit for me. These past few weeks, in between rain showers, I have been planting hundreds of plants all over the campground. Norma, who is our head gardener, has already taught me so much. For example, when you plant potatoes, you want two or three ‘eyes’, or sprouts, off the potato’s so they can clone themselves. The rest you cut off and plant somewhere else. For corn, you must plant it in rows of four so it will be able to pollinate itself. I enjoy learning about facts like these to supplement my future.
Currently, I am working on a big mermaid display in the store. The sections we are (attempting) to have in the store this year, are ‘Maine Made’, ‘Vintage Camping’, and ‘Mermaids’. We brought in a 10-foot piece of driftwood (which is literally twice my size) and we are trying to turn it into a mermaid haven. It’s coming out pretty good, the hardest part was getting it inside…
I’m looking forward to meeting new people this summer as well. Please feel free to say hello to me the next time I see you around the campground!
Your friendly staff member,
Any new adventure is exciting, especially one located at such a special place. However, agreeing to pack up my life and move into a camper for three months, three hours away from my home, was more than a little nerve racking. Hello! My name is Amber Jenkins, and I will be working at Searsport Shores- and blog posting- all summer.
I’m currently a junior at The University of New England, studying marine biology and animal behavior. I want to rehabilitate animals, specifically sea life, and release them back into the ocean. I also have an interest in art, with a few of my pieces currently in an art exhibit in Rockland, Maine. For those of you who know Searsport Shores, it seems like this is where I would belong. With the ocean and artwork embracing me with every step around the campground, I should feel right at home every day. And so far, I do.
As we have taken the first few steps into June, the campground is thriving. The honey bees are about, the birds are singing, the leaves are finally green, the sky is a clear blue, and -knock on wood- the sun is shining. The past few weeks have been quite rainy. Although lovely for our gardens, it doesn’t help the seedlings we have been planting on and off throughout the short dry spells. Tomatoes, corn, popping corn, strawberries, scallions, golden & red potatoes and wild parsley are a just few of the veggies you can sink your teeth into come mid-July.
On top of gardening, I have been very busy. One of my first tasks was putting up a billboard with a mermaid as tall as I am, about 5’10. It certainly was a crazy start to my week. I got to go to a farmer’s market and I tried gelato made with buffalo milk, which is apparently much healthier than cow’s milk for you because of the extra calcium.
I got to lead a beach and nature walk, in which I got to share some knowledge about the ocean & the sea life. I’ve also managed to improve my lawn mowing skills, and along with my newly acquired goat wrangling abilities, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I now know how to drive a tractor and I must say; I think I may start diving it around instead of the golf carts.
I’m currently learning how to run the store, which is a huge job in itself. I do enjoy it though, and the people here make my job a lot easier. I hope you’ll say hi when you come in!