Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fireplace (Update)

And here is the finished fireplace and hearth.  The stones surrounding the opening all came from our jetty down by the lake, so they are local.  And the mantle is a 4" section of a big pine tree.  We think it looks great!

For comparison, this is what the fireplace USED to look like.  See why we are so happy with the change?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sue's Daylilies Are Especially Beautiful This Year


Smoker BBQ

The optometrist Sue worked for (until she retired, that is) was giving away this smoker BBQ.  Free, but since it weighs ~300 pounds, there was a challenge involved.

We have other BBQs, of course, and Sue gave me a smoker for Christmas a couple of years ago.  But I've always eyed these things to slow-cook ribs, brisket, etc.  Too good an opportunity to pass up.

A little cleaning, some high-temperature stove paint, and voila!  This is the maiden cooking experience: a pan of baked beans that will simmer all afternoon.  The brisket will wait until I have a full day to devote to the task.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cabin - Chimney and Fireplace

It's leaked since we bought the place.  And the former owners had done a terrible job of re-building the hearth and the stones around the fireplace inside.  It looked awful.  We've put up with it for 25 years, but this has always been a project we wanted to take on.  Now is the time.

To start, they installed a new flue pipe and re-worked the top of the chimney.  Also added a stone cap.  Looks much better and is much more in keeping with the ways things are built in Maine.  And, for the first time in 25 years, the inside floor of the fireplace is completely dry!

Inside, they started by tearing out the surface stones in the hearth.  In this picture most of the new stones have been mortared into place--just need to be grouted to finish it.  They have also begun building up the sides with stones from our property. 

It's a messy job with lots of dust.  But everything should be done when we go back on Sunday.  Hooray!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Zip Line - One More Picture

The last run of the day was a side-by-side race.  It was optional, but after everything else we had done on the trip....

For this run, the cables are bare steel, built for speed.  No plastic coating like the others so you don't use your gloved hand for braking.  Instead, braking is mechanical and very abrupt- you don't even slow down until you hit the braking system.

Once again, it was over all too quickly.  For the record, let's say that our race was a tie.  A great way to end the day!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Zipping Into Retirement

June 30, 2012:  Our first day of retirement!

To celebrate, we treated ourselves to a weekend at the Mt. Washington Resort (magnificent!).  We also did the zip line canopy tour--something Sue has talked about for quite some time.   Nine cables, three rappels, and two swinging bridges.  Literally zipping into retirement.  Great fun!

And here are some pictures of each of us on the longest cable--850' long and 150 feet high.  You can see the entire length of the cable from the starting platform.  The zip starts in the treetops, but you quickly race out of the trees and find yourself 150' above the valley floor.  The only problem is that you wish it could go on longer!

And here is what we found in our room when we got back to the hotel.  We have great sons and daughters-in-law!