Sunday, September 30, 2007

dog catcher

I spend a lot of time catching other people's dogs in my neighborhood. I'm beginning to think I should be getting paid for being a dog catcher.

Yesterday, I was working in my yard and heard Oreo using his "I see another animal" bark. It is a deeper and more serious bark, than he uses at other times. Typically, when he uses this bark, it is to let me know he sees a squirrel or our next door neighbor's lab getting too close for comfort.

I didn't think much of his barking, until I heard some kids yelling, "Jake!" I knew this was one of our neighbor's dogs, because they are constantly yelling, "Jake, stop barking!" So, I figured their dog must have gotten loose. I looked into the woods and saw a flash of fur heading toward our yard.

I had never seen Jake, and he was not what I expected. For some reason, I was expecting Jake to be a springer spaniel, but Jake was a tiny, white, fluffy thing. Maybe a maltese. One of those dogs rich people carry in their Louis Vuitton bags.

I tried calling Jake to me, so I could get a feel for his temperament. Sometimes these pocketbook dogs can go either way. They can be sweet to their owners, but very snappy to strangers. Was I willing to lose a finger to save the dog from getting squashed by a car? Not really.

Luckily, Jake seemed to be smiling, and having the adventure of a lifetime. He was running with an expression on his face that said, "I'm free, I'm free!"

Jake came running up to me, and I tried to grab him, but he was too quick. By then, the kids had reached my yard and were trying to help. Unfortunately, they just kept screaming at the dog. This caused the dog to run further away, and toward our very busy road. I knew the best way to lure a dog was to talk in a nice, calm voice and act as if I was going to give him a fabulous hunk of steak.

My tactic worked. After a few tries, I was able to scoop up Jake, give him a quick hug, and hand him off to the kids. The kids were very polite and kept thanking me for my help. These are the same kids who scream at the top of their lungs at 10 PM, while jumping on their trampoline, causing me to lose sleep. Now, they were winning me over.

Their mom came down the hill through the woods to thank me too. She said, "I'm glad your dogs were barking, otherwise Jake would have run into the road, instead of your yard. Once he reached the road, he would be a goner."

I never had anyone say they were glad my dogs were barking. I usually hear the opposite. I don't usually care about the complaints, since I have to listen to their kids screaming all the time.

Then she said, "Jake doesn't get out much, so when he gets loose he just takes off. He's going back in his crate now."

Poor Jake. Had the time of his life, and now he was being punished.

After they left, I looked around for my own dogs. I knew they were safe inside our fence throughout the whole ordeal, and hadn't really paid any attention to them. That's one of the main reasons we put up the fence - to keep our dogs safe from other dogs. I expected to see them on the deck keeping an eye on things, but they weren't there.

I noticed the back door had been nosed open by one of them. I found the two of them, sitting in the corner of our mudroom, as close to the closed kitchen door, as physically possible. Huddled together for mutual support.

As soon as Jake set foot on our property, my two dogs went running for cover. Wimps.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tulip bulbs - flowers or a tasty snack?

I know summer is officially over when my spring bulbs arrive in the mail. They are always sent at the "optimal time for planting". Usually when they arrive, our furnace has already been running for a few days. Not the case this year, we had our central air on for a couple days this week, and it looks like we won't need the furnace next week either.

Regardless, I went out to plant my bulbs today.

Last Fall, I was very ambitious with my bulb plantings. I ordered more than 300 bulbs - including a hundred and fifty tulip bulbs. There is nothing prettier in spring than a large group of elegant red tulips. I ordered some early bloomers, mid spring varieties, and the tall May flowering tulips. I wanted to have a non stop tulip display from April to May.

When I started seeing green in my garden last March, I waited anxiously for those green stems to sprout up. The daffodils were blooming and I had a few crocuses, but no sign of my tulips.

I thought, maybe they are just a little late this year.

As we got into April, there was no sign of tulip growth. May came, and still no tulips.

Unlike daffodils, tulips have to be replanted every year. Only a few are perennial varieties. So, it wasn't like I was out a lot of money if the bulbs didn't bloom. I think of tulips as "throw away plants", like inpatients and petunias. You have to buy them every year. What upset me was the lack of color in my spring garden, and all that time I wasted planting them in the Fall.

Why didn't they bloom?

I dug into the ground where I knew I had planted some bulbs, and there were none to be found. I began to face the fact that my endless battle with our resident mole continues.

All my tulips bulbs were the mole's dinner throughout the winter. The mole must think very highly of me for leaving him tasty morsels, so he didn't starve over the winter.

Hmm, I wonder if I don't plant any bulbs this fall, would the mole finally die from starvation? Am I his sole source of food? As much as I want the mole to drop dead, I'm not ready to give up on having a tulip display.

I did some research on keeping your bulbs free from rodent damage. Some suggest adding moth balls to the top of your soil. Others say that is bad for your bulbs. I could just see Oreo carrying moth balls around in his mouth, so that wasn't going to work.

One of my gardening catalogs sells crushed oyster shells. You put some in the hole with the bulb, and that is supposed to deter the moles from eating the bulbs. Although I am very skeptical this will work, I figured it is worth a shot. I also decided to try soaking all my bulbs in "tree guard". Tree guard is something I spray on my plants to keep the deer away. It is supposed to taste really bad (it does, I got some on my finger and had a taste), lasts a long time, and is water resistant.

Good thing I only ordered 50 tulips this year. Soaking the bulbs, adding the shells, and trying to keep Oreo away from all this, made planting my bulbs take twice as long as usual. Who knows if it will work. It wasn't deterring Oreo's curiosity. If I have no tulips next Spring, I will be setting a trap for that mole. I'll know what to lure him in with - tulip bulbs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

it doesn't look good

For those of you who live in the northeast, the forecast for the winter doesn't look good. I don't rely on the farmer's almanac. I watch the squirrels.

Have you noticed the squirrel activity lately? Recently, every morning on my way to work, a squirrel narrowly avoids getting squished by my car as he darts across the road. Oreo has been finding a lot of not so lucky squirrels on our morning walks. They are in all stages of decay. Oreo thinks they are all his new chew toy.

The squirrels have been very busy running from place to place, and all are carrying huge green "nuts" in their mouths. I find these nutlike shells in my yard. They are cracked open, and discarded. The shells are everywhere; making a mess of my yard, walkways, and driveway. I wonder what's inside, must be something good. Whatever it is, the squirrels seem to be stocking their pantries for winter. Perhaps, its a versatile nut that they can use in a lot of different recipes.

Doesn't it seem kind of early to be preparing for winter? The first day of Fall isn't until tomorrow. Its been 80 degrees this week, and looks like it will be nice next week too. Haven't the squirrels heard about global warming? Do the squirrels know something we don't know? I hope not, but maybe we should get our snow blower tuned up soon -just in case.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If you wanna drive a Hummer....

Our neighbor has a Hummer. Not the relatively small H3, but the big H2. He parked it in our driveway the other day, while he and Jeff were out in Jeff's truck. I was completely humiliated to have the Hummer sitting in front of our house, for passersby to see. To me, a Hummer is an ostentatious display that screams "I don't care about the planet." I didn't want anyone to think this ridiculous vehicle was associated with me.Does anyone really need such a large vehicle (tank)? Granted, the road we live on is quite treacherous in the winter, and a good snow storm makes for an entertaining show outside our window. We see car after car trying to make it up the steep hill in front of our house, only to back down and try again. So many people end up having to be towed out of the ditch line, that I keep the tow truck number on our fridge. So, about twice a year I could find a use for a 4 wheel drive vehicle, although there are much more environmentally friendly versions than the H2. However, would it really be such an inconvenience for people to park their car at the end of the road, and walk the half mile to their house on a snowy day?

I did some research on the Hummer. The H2 gets about 10 miles to a gallon. It has a 32 gallon tank. So, to fill it up today, it would cost $91!!! That's at a relatively low price of $2.85 a gallon. My Acura has an eleven gallon tank. So, to fill up, I would pay around $32. The Hummer costs almost 3 times as much to drive. Why would someone, anyone want to pay those prices?

Are these Hummer owners really driving off road, like you see in the commercials? The H2 can climb a 60-degree grade, and can handle a 40-degree side grade. That means you're almost looking at the ground and the H2 can still negotiate. Who drives in situations like that? Would you really risk tipping a $48,000 vehicle on its side, just because you can? Aren't we all just driving from home to work to Target and back? Every time I see an H2, it is sparkling clean. Off roading, usually makes your vehicle a muddy mess.

My theory is, if you want to drive a Hummer, join the Army. They'll even give you a $20,000 sign up bonus to drive one all over the desert. Now there's some real off roading.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oreo's Orbee


Oreo has a favorite ball, called an Orbee. It comes from Planet Dog, in Portland, Maine. Oreo actually has 4 orbees, because we are constantly losing them under furniture or in my hosta plants. If all 4 were missing, I don't know what Oreo would do. He has 2 glow in the dark ones (I search under furniture for those at night), a pink one (easy to find in the grass), and the original blue with green continents. They all come from the factory with a "fresh minty scent". I don't know if they make it minty to entice the dogs to play with it, or to keep it from smelling really funky. After a few days sitting outside on the lawn, I can't smell the mint. Maybe the dogs can.


Oreo loves to fetch the orbee, watch me fetch it, chew off the continents, and carries one around pretty much all day. God knows what sort of bacteria has attached itself to those balls, and then touched my hands as I throw it for him. Yuk.

Today, the unthinkable happened. I was in the bathroom, getting ready for work. Every few seconds, Oreo would come in with his orbee. I would oblige and throw it down the hall for him. Suddenly, I hear a "plop". Oreo is standing by the toilet, staring into it. I look inside, and yes, there is the glow in the dark orbee in the toilet. Now what?

While tempted, I can't flush it down, it would ruin our septic system. There's no way I am fishing it out with my hand. I contemplate going to the kitchen to get a big serving spoon to scoop it out. Then I wonder if I could ever use that spoon again. The dishwasher sanitizes things, right? Still, I think I would have to throw it out.

Jeff to the rescue. Jeff come into the bathroom, looks in the toilet, reaches his hand in and grabs the orbee!!!! He did it so nonchalantly, which surprised me, as Jeff is a big time germaphobic. Jeff put the orbee in the sink, washes it (and his hands), and hands the orbee to me.

I quickly throw the ball down the hallway for Oreo. Oreo runs to it, takes a couple sniffs, and then just walks away from it, as though we ruined his favorite toy. Clearly, he didn't want a clean ball.

Did Oreo put the orbee in the toilet, on purpose, to get those heavenly scents on the ball? Apparently, Oreo prefers disgusting aromas over the smell of soap. I should know this. The other day on our walk, Oreo picked up a flattened, road kill squirrel that has been rotting for days on the side of the road. Horrifying, yes? Luckily, he dropped it when I yelled, "NO!" There was no way I was taking that out of his mouth. I would have had Oreo carry it home and then let Jeff deal with it.

When I came home from work today, I threw the "toilet ball" around the yard a bit, trying to get some new outdoor smells attached to the orbee. Oreo's starting to use it again, but I think we ruined some of the ball's attraction with the soap. Good thing we have 3 other back up orbees.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

oreo's new world

I was working on the computer in the kitchen today, and heard Oreo making some noise in the living room. I kept turning to look for him, just to make sure he wasn't up to any mischief. Every time I looked on the floor, I couldn't find him. I did this at least five times. Finally, I looked up, rather than down. There he was up on the loveseat! The only time Oreo has jumped on the couch, up until today, was when I was sitting on it. So, I wasn't expecting him to be there.

Oreo was standing on the "dog couch" where a whole new world opened for him. Misty loves that couch, because she can see out the picture window. It was Munchkin's favorite spot too. Looks like the torch has been passed to Oreo.

Here it is all captured on film (or digital camera):

Its not brain surgery

I didn't get my newspaper delivered this morning. When I took the dogs for a walk, I saw that other people had theirs. Why didn't I?


Sometimes when I am walking the dogs, I see other newspaper carriers delivering the paper. They actually stop their car, get out, walk to the person's door, and put the paper on the step. Not my guy. My carrier slows his car down to about 30 miles an hour, flings the paper out the driver's side window, over the car roof, and sometimes it lands on the driveway. Typically, I have to fish it out of the ditch. Sometimes, I just don't bother.


Today, when we got back from our walk, I checked the ditch. I saw several newspapers down there, but not today's.


This happens at least once a week. Usually on Sunday, when I really want to read the whole paper in the morning. I have a routine on Sundays, and when the paper isn't there, it throws off my whole day. Jeff ends up with "cranky Sara" until noontime.


I've had it. Nothing like starting your day annoyed.


This morning, I called the paper to cancel my subscription. The customer representative asked if I was canceling just for a vacation.


"No", I explained, "When I did cancel for my vacation, the paper was delivered everyday, and now that I am home, I'm not getting the paper."


When we went on vacation, I purposely canceled the paper for the day before we left for our trip, to make sure it really was stopped. Of course, our guy delivered that day. So, I called the newspaper and told them. The rep assured me that she would speak to the carrier directly, and her words were, "you don't want papers piling up while you're out of town."


Well, if the delivery guy got the message, he didn't listen, or he is just dumb. You would have thought he'd have noticed 7 papers piling up on our driveway, and maybe call the paper to see if I had canceled. Nothing like a pile of newspapers to scream we're out of town, come rob us.


Today's rep was persistent. She told me she could speak to the manager and try and get this sorted out. I said, no. This has been going on for years, and I didn't have much hope for any long term improvement.


The rep asked when I wanted it canceled. I said, "tomorrow". She told me that I was paid through October 11, and asked if I wanted to keep getting the paper until then.


Didn't I just tell her that I'm not getting the paper? Oh yeah, let me pay for something I'm not receiving, that makes sense.


Today, I read the "paper" on my laptop while eating breakfast (gotta love wireless). It really wasn't too bad. No black ink on my fingers. Now, I'll have less papers to recycle. I can buy all the Sunday inserts and fliers on Saturday at the grocery store. Plus, I'll save some money. This may not be a bad scenario.

I have a feeling that tomorrow, when I wake up, there will be a nicely bagged newspaper sitting on the driveway. Wonder how long it will take my carrier to realize I have cancelled. I guess that's why some people deliver papers, rather than perform brain surgery.





Tuesday, September 11, 2007

bad weather report

I was watching the local news tonight. They were airing some of the 9/11 memorial services going on in the area. I then heard one of the worst segues ever. The newscaster said something along these lines - "when you think of 9/11, you remember what a beautiful, sunny day it was...not so today". Then, they switched to the meteorologist who talked about what a rainy day it is. Was that really necessary to connect the memorial services to the weather? It didn't end there. Then, they discussed what the weather has been like each year on the anniversary of 9/11. Apparently, this was the first rainy 9/11 since the attacks. A tidbit that seemed callous and completely unnecessary to state on air.


Usually, I love watching the weather report. In fact, I consider myself to be an amateur meteorologist. I have predicted our school's snow days and hour delays with about 75% accuracy. The only reason I have made mistakes is because of a change in administration. Some superintendents hate snow more than others. Our new superintendent is from the Caribbean, so I am hoping for lots of snow days this year!


Meteorologists have great jobs. They get all excited when there is bad weather. They take off their jackets, and roll up their shirtsleeves. The best part is that meteorologists don't have to do their job well. In fact, we expect them to be wrong most of the time. All they have to say is, "there was a change in the jet stream", and we forgive them. Sometimes, they even admit they have no idea what the weather will be, and blame it on conflicting computer imagery. They tell us, "one computer model says we will get three feet of snow, the other computer shows three inches". Even when they know a storm will hit, they always give a wide range ~ 6-12 inches or 4-8 inches. Let me tell you, there is a big difference between 6 inches and 12 inches, especially when you are trying to drive your car up a very steep driveway. You either make it in the garage, or abandon your car at the bottom.

I don't know who's idea it was to have the meteorologist discuss 9/11 weather, but weather people should stick to the weather. At least then, when they get it wrong, its ok.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Recipe - Chicken Fiesta Salad

Jeff took a picture of the dinner I made the other day and told me I should put recipes on my blog. Not a bad idea.

So, here is a good one, which I actually got on line somewhere, and have made a few changes:

Chicken Fiesta Salad

2 boneless chicken breast halves
1 (1.27 oz.) packet of dry fajita seasoning
1 10.5 oz can black beans (I used Goya ) , drained and rinsed
1 7 oz. can corn (I used green giant niblets)
1/2 cup salsa
1 tomato or some cherry tomatoes
lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Rub the chicken with 1/2 the fajita seasoning packet. Fry the chicken in olive oil until cooked through, then chop into bite size pieces.

In a separate pan, mix the beans, corn, salsa, and other half of fajita
seasoning. Heat until warm. ( I do this while cooking the chicken.)

Place lettuce in salad dishes, add some tomatoes. Top with chicken and
dress with the bean/corn mixture. Sprinkle the top with cheddar
cheese. Serve with tortilla chips. A dollop of sour cream is nice,
but not necessary!


Jeff and I get two dinners and a lunch out of this meal. The amount of chicken can be increased or decreased. I have also used tenders instead of breasts, they cook faster. It is so quick and easy and yummy.

Try it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Coupon Confusion

Is it me, or are coupons getting more complicated?

I am an avid coupon collector. Every Sunday, I clip coupons for items that I normally buy. I save at least $5 a week at the grocery store with my coupons. That's more than $250 a year.

There is nothing worse than checking out in a grocery store, having your coupons scanned, and hearing a loud "ehh, ehh" noise coming from the register, instead of the familiar and friendly "beep". The cashier studies the coupon, and tries to figure out why the coupon was rejected. Typically, it's because I bought the wrong number of items or the wrong size. Instead of running through the store to get another item, or the right size, I just tell the cashier that I'll use it next time. I don't want to anger the person behind me, who is already annoyed that my coupons are causing them to wait. Believe it or not, some people are actually anti-coupons!

Is this what the food companies want? For us to make mistakes, so we have to buy a full price item? Why can't they make a 50 cent coupon for one box of cereal, instead of $1 off of two boxes? Sometimes, I won't even cut out a coupon if I know I have to buy 2 of something. Especially, if it is something that would go bad before I could consume two. Sometimes this results in that company losing my business, because their brand is not the cheapest without the coupon. Not smart on their part.


I also do a lot of rebates. These typically entail saving UPC codes and receipts for large quantities of items. You mail it in, and get a check back for $5 or more. I think most people don't bother, because it is time consuming, and you have to remember to get the UPC code before you throw the item out.

A few weeks ago, I saw a $10 rebate for Kellogg's cereals, if I buy 10 boxes. Well, I eat Kellogg's everyday, and $1 off each box is a pretty good savings. So, this seemed worth the effort for me. I read the fine print, and it said I had to make all my purchases before Sept. 30. Plenty of time. I buy 2 boxes a week. I peeled off the UPC labels when I unpacked my groceries, and put them in an envelope with the receipt.

I just bought my last 2 boxes today and was preparing to send off all the receipts and UPC labels for my $10 check (expect to wait 2 months to get it). I decided to reread the fine print just to make sure I had included everything. I was horrified when I read that "all products must be purchased in a single transaction"!



How does purchasing all 10 boxes on the same day, rather than several trips, benefit Kellogg's? The prices haven't changed, and I'm still buying their product. Don't I deserve to save some money?

Who buys 10 boxes of cereal at a time? If you are buying 10 boxes, you should be shopping at a warehouse store, and buying your cereal by the barrel.

All my effort and diligence was for nothing. I am tempted to mail all my receipts and UPC codes with a nasty letter and a link to this blog. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dogs need vacations too

Good news, Oreo can now jump on the couch! At least we think that's good news. Hopefully, this doesn't mean he will now eat the sofa cushions and pillows.



How did this happen?

A week in a house filled with stairs.


Our house rental in Maine had a lot of stairs. There were stairs from the main level to our bedroom. Stairs from the upper deck to the yard. Stairs to the beach.


If Oreo didn't want to get stranded somewhere, he had to learn to use the stairs. Or whine, until Mommy came to get him.



Jeff played tough love with him and forced Oreo to climb the stairs from our bedroom to the main living area. After a couple tries, Oreo climbed the stairs without coaxing.

There was a blanket trunk at the foot of our bed. Oreo learned to use that as a step to get up on the bed! That was quite a leap for a little dog. Now, we knew his jumping potential was there, but would he use it elsewhere?


Yesterday, as we sat on the couch to watch TV, Oreo made an attempt at a jump to join us. Misty was kind of in his way, so all Oreo could get on the couch was his belly. Jeff and I were excited, we hoped maybe this was it. Jeff got up and made room for Oreo to get a running start. Oreo took a couple steps, and up on the couch he went! We praised him and clapped, Oreo lapped it all up. Then, we pushed Oreo off the couch to see if he could do it again. Maybe it was just a fluke. This time, Oreo ran into the kitchen, did a lap around the table, into the living room, and then a huge leap onto the couch. You would have thought he won an Olympic gold medal from our response. I guess it was like when parents see their kid walk for the first time. Oreo sat there panting, soaking in the praise, with a look on his face that said,"Yeah, I am so awesome." Misty kind of looked at us like, what's the big deal, I jump on the couch all the time.

This made me think, maybe dogs need a change of scenery every once in a while too. I'm sure dogs can get in a rut being stuck in the same house, yard, and even the same walking route each day. Not much opportunity to expand the brain. You can only smell the same frog carcass so many times. As much as dogs like their routines, sometimes it can be good for them to get out, have new experiences, and learn how to do new things. Even my anxiety ridden Misty, liked Maine so much that she had to roll in the seaweed to bring the scent home. Believe me, seaweed smells much better than some other things she has rolled in at home. You don't want to know.

As a side note, I learned something too on our vacation. See that picket fence? Oreo's ball went over it. Rather than use the two gates to get out of the yard, I attempted to scale the fence. I was convinced I could do it. Jeff screamed, "Wait, I'll get it!" What? You think I can't jump this fence? I'll show you. I used to do gymnastics. One leg went over easily. If I could just jamb my foot between the pickets, I could make it over. Or not.

I now have a huge bruise on my thigh, along with some serious road (fence) rash. It is painful to wear pants and cross my legs. Even worse, I had to be rescued and carried off the fence by Jeff. Luckily, I brought a first aid kit for the dogs. Hope its OK to use dog ointment on people.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Munchkin's Sheep Substitute

My summer vacation is almost over. My first summer in 14 years without my first sheltie, Munchkin. Munchkin loved to hang out on the deck in the summer. He would sit at the edge and watch the street for hours at a time. His concentration was so intense, it must have been exhausting for him.
Shelties are herding dogs. If you don't give them a job (sheep), they will find one for themselves. Munchkin made it his job to alert me when motorcycles drove past our house.


Munchkin would bark his head off at every motorcycle that went by. I don't know why. I wondered if he assumed it could be Jeff. I think he was smarter than that. Bikes must have been Munchkin's "sheep substitute". He also barked at people walking, running, or bicycling. If I had him off his leash, Munchkin would run into the road after the person. He would run up to the person and just bark. "Get back with the herd, you dumb sheep", is what I imagined he was saying. Munchkin never left the yard otherwise. He was always by his shepherd's side.

When Munchkin was a puppy, I would bring him to the local little league park. The fields were fenced in, so I could let him off the leash to run. He would tear around the field at top speed in wide circles. There was no doubt that this dog had been bred to herd. The circling instinct was so strong.

When it wasn't "deck weather", Munchkin had two favorite spots. One was the back of the couch. He would sit on top of the seat back cushion so he could see the road out the picture window. His other spot was on our bed, which also had a window view of the road. From either place, he could do his job of letting me know about any loose "sheep".

Misty has taken over Munchkin's spot on the couch. She scratches at the window whenever someone comes to the house or walks by. Munchkin trained her well. Occasionally, Misty will bark at a motorcycle, but when Oreo doesn't join in, she stops. I wonder if she still misses Munchkin. After Munchkin died, Misty sobbed for weeks whenever we left the house. That stopped after we got Oreo. Did she miss Munchkin, or did she just not like being alone?

Oreo has a lot of Munchkin's traits. He circles the kitchen table while food is being prepared, and runs in wide circles outside. When he's on the deck, he barks at people walking down the street, but not motorcycles. Oreo can't jump on the couch, so maybe that job will end with Misty.

Oreo has helped all of us deal with the pain of losing our best buddy, Munchkin. When I'm sitting on the deck, like I am right now, I can still picture Munchie laying on the edge, with his ears perked up, just waiting for the sound of a bike (sheep). I hope that image never fades away.



Saturday, September 1, 2007

Harpswell, Maine





















Our trip to Harpswell, Maine was everything I hoped for and more. Harpswell is not a tourist destination. There are no hotels or campgrounds. Just a couple bed and breakfasts. The house we rented was small and very clean. It had everything we needed, including a huge lobster pot and all the necessary tools. The view from our deck was stunning, and constantly changing with the tide movement. What a treat to wake up every morning to a view of the ocean from your pillow. Being on a peninsula, we were lucky to face the west so we got to see spectacular sunsets.
We also saw seals and a heron. We saw lobster men out on their boats pulling up their lobster pots. With the binoculars we could see if they had any "keepers".

The dogs seemed to enjoy themselves, and Misty didn’t have a nervous breakdown. Oreo had his first try at swimming, and he doggie paddled immediately. He really seemed to like the water. Strange for a sheepdog. Misty enjoyed rolling in seaweed - weird.

We bought our lobsters at Allen’s for $5.75 a pound! There were dogs at the lobster dock every time we went. They were running around free. No collars or leashes. They were filthy and wet. At the end of the day, they hop in their fishermen’s pick up trucks. What a great life for a dog. Such a different life than the ones my dogs lead.
We went to Cook's lobster house on my parent's anniversary. Very yummy food and a beautiful location on Bailey Island, which is home to the world's only cribstone bridge. The bridge is made of granite blocks that allow the water to go through. It looks pretty scary, but its been there a very long time.


Overall, it was a very relaxing vacation. Jeff and I each ate 5 lobsters while we were there, including 2 each on our last night there. Yum! I still have some stuck under my fingernails.