Another Wonderful Thing About Maine: The Temperature

The ideal vacation spot should be in a nice temperate climate—not too hot or too cold in the prime summer season. Most people want to go between June and September. Many places of major interest are sweltering half way through this time period like New York or New Orleans (or anywhere in the south). You then have few choices other than the beach. Fortunately, resorts abound on both the east and west coast. But you will no doubt encounter vast crowds and expensive housing. Plus, if you loathe a sunburn, you won’t enjoy your time at the shore. Are you tired of sand in your shoes and all over your hair?

I have another option for you. The wonderful state of Maine. The wonderful thing about it is the temperature in the summer. In fact, I don’t need to use air conditioning at all. If you crave hiking in the great outdoors amid gorgeous scenery, this is the place to be. It is not too hot to camp comfortably and it is even mild enough at night to light a nice fire for toasting marshmallows and hot dogs. It is an alternative for those who go to the beach year after year. It is time to retire the surf board and wetsuit and get out your shorts and boots. Maine is one big photo opportunity. Your entire family will love it. You get to stay in a quaint log cabin with a big ceiling fan in the living room. They were featured on Facebook for their amazing design. It is mostly for looks given the nice weather, but if the temperature should rise a few degrees, we are prepared. And we are clever too. Our fans convert to heating units in the winter and, yes, we do have snow. Visitors come in droves to enjoy the fresh powder and the snow-tipped trees. We are a picturesque state all year round. We really shine, however, in the summer.

I sound like a commercial and perhaps I am. I started this blog to bring attention to an often-neglected haven of outdoor fun. We have blue skies, soaring mountains, crystal clear rivers and majestic lakes. The lodgings are so colorful that vacationers enjoy staying in now and then to enjoy a board game, watch TV (and nap) or listen to music while sipping a cold glass of wine. There is something here that breeds relaxation. Perhaps it is the lack of urban noise. If you want to get away from it all, get over here fast and enjoy a real change of pace. I guarantee a good time for everyone. Our resorts, large and small, have all the amenities from barbecue areas to swimming pools. You will find casual eateries a walking distance away. If you want to try the local fare, we have plenty of options nearby. We are known for our hospitality and friendliness. Why not book your next trip here and find out for yourself!

Dos and Don’ts in the Cold

Brrr. Get out the fleece-lined parkas and boots. Maine is known for cold weather like most New England states. If you are not a local, check out the fabulous scenic views of our mountains on line. It makes for great winter recreation such as skiing, cross country, sledding, ice skating, and more. On rare freezing days, you are homebound. We get snow aplenty and who doesn’t like to take a walk with those gorgeous white flakes floating down. You don’t even want to cover your head. If you smoke, the air is brisk. You aren’t tampering with nature and your ambience is fresh and clean. This is certainly not true when you smoke inside, even by a fireplace.

Smoke pollution isn’t just from a factory smoke stack. You can ruin the indoor experience for a sensitive person who can’t breathe in any form of smoke – cigarette, pipe, or cigar. You have a real problem if it is cold outside and you crave a smoke, but the No More Smoke Smell blog has some tips to help you. You can amuse yourself and fight the urge by shoveling snow so you can get to your car when you like. You can check your pipes and make sure the water is running a little to prevent freezing. It can happen. Don ‘t overtax yourself with outdoor chores or you may have a heart attack. It can happen. Get out the blankets and check the fuel in your home generator in case the lights go out. It can happen.

If your family bans you from the house on cold days, you may have a problem. If you can’t curb the habit, you can move to Florida like the rest of the snowbirds do in the winter. You can sit on the beach and light up all you want. Ha! There are worse reasons to go south. But I adore the cruel months because they are actually kind to locals and tourists alike. While we revel in camping by the lake in August, we can’t wait to get out the skis in October in anticipation of the white stuff. Mine are waxed and ready before Thanksgiving and the first heavy snow fall. Come December, we get out the axe and select the perfect Christmas tree. You can see that we have a lot of fun.

The kids prefer sledding and they can do it close by – a two-minute walk to the nearest small hill. They skate with friends on the frozen pond lined with snow-covered fir trees. It is the frosty season and the holidays are inching closer. Christmas Market and all the festivals will waken up our quiet little towns. I sound like an ad for Maine tourism, and perhaps I am. I am loyal, patriotic, and keen on helping us economically at all times. I will do a blog on hiking and camping later on. There is a lot to tell. I will post photos on Instagram.

I Guess it Hiberates in Winter

Certain aspects of home ownership are needed to run a smooth household all year round. In Maine, it is mostly winter but each season brings certain problems. If you keep tabs on repairs, you can avoid those nasty big expenditures that inevitably appear. If you fix a leaky roof, you won’t need a new one—at least for a while. If you keep an eye on your appliances, you can keep them practically forever. Turn things off when not in use and clean them regularly. Deice the freezer from time to time so it doesn’t get clogged. Even the most advanced automatic system goes on the fritz with ice tumbling out in a waterfall of frozen squares.

Have I left anything out? Watch that your pipes don’t freeze in winter, especially when you are away, or you will get a big surprise when you get home. In the summer, replace your air conditioner filters to avoid a drag on the system which wastes energy and therefore money. Don’t leave utensils in the sink lest they fall into the garbage disposal. Don’t neglect a leaky toilet or you could have a flood. There are a lot more don’ts. It is a big responsibility to own a home. I haven’t even mentioned the garage or yard. Dry off wet tools so they don’t rust; seal and store open oil cans for the car; wind up the garden hose in a neat pile; and check the portable generator. Power can do out anytime of the year.

I forgot one important issue: clean water. I have a reverse osmosis filtration system which works well but suddenly I experienced a loss of pressure that made it less efficient. I had to explore a bit to find out what was wrong. I was a bit miffed that this happened so soon after the installation. Pressure is used to drive the process so that polluted water passes through a membrane, eliminating alien elements like chemicals, toxins, rust, or iron residue from your pipes. It sounds perfect in principle, while in reality it is failing. However, it turns out that there is a temperature threshold for the unit to operate properly and the water was just too cold! Not to panic. This can be fixed. In the meantime, you have to realize that the innards of the reverse osmosis unit are not designed to support extreme temperatures. If you don’t regulate this requirement, you can cause damage to your system. This goes for high and low temperatures. So now I know.

I have created a checklist to handle all these recurring household duties without which you might as well move. An ounce of prevention….as they say. I have learned not to make assumptions the hard way, by having things go wrong. Now I am a bit of a preacher about taking care of business at home. This is not a paradox, my friend.

Making the Most of Maine

Gather around and listen. I love my new sunrise alarm clock; it is so amazing that I have to blog about it. If you need something to get you up in the morning, particularly during the dreary winters as we have in Maine, you have come to the right place. The dark months won’t seem so terrible that you never want to go outside. If you don’t rouse yourself out of that cozy, warm bed, you will miss all the wonderful white snow and the winter sports. After a day of cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating or just enjoying the view, you will feel invigorated and like you can’t wait for winter to come when deep in fall. All it takes is a sunrise alarm from Be Right Light that goes on with the most beautiful array of colors you can imagine. You feel like you are in fairyland. Then you can look out the window and decide what to do for the day.

The scenery is so glorious that you will hop out of bed to see amazing sights. The coast is one of them for sure. The seaside villages draped in a blanket of the white stuff are quiet and peaceful. You will want to run into a charming Maine inn and sit by a roaring fire. Then have dinner overlooking the ocean waves and you will know what heaven is like. The holiday season brings a local crafts fair and carriage rides to our villages. Maybe you didn’t know that the state is a great getaway place for tourists. Please spread the word and help the local economy.

The more adventurous residents and out-of-state athletes get out their boots and skis. We have the biggest mountains and best slopes in all of New England bar none. Has anyone heard of Sunday River and Sugarloaf? In addition, Nordic types will love the myriad of trails, farms, fields, and resorts. There is a network of varied terrain to please every outdoorsman or woman. Let me tell you what it is like cruising across a snow-covered plain or a frozen lake—outstanding. Bring a camera or at least your cell phone. If you join us in the winter, you can enjoy ice fishing derbies and winter carnivals. There are ski festivals starting in late November, from Thanksgiving to Easter. Maine means winter fun.

I will end with one last boost for the sunrise alarm because I couldn’t live without it. I am thinking of telling all the hotels and inns to stock them in every room. What a way to greet the day! No, I do not sell this product. I do rely on it to put me in a cheerful mood during the colder months. In fact, I use in almost all year round. Adults and kids alike love its special features. You can program it to last as long as you like. You can change the colors and also add sounds and music. Is this a cool alarm system or what?

Housecleaning Hacks for Guys

They say that Maine is for the self-sufficient who also enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, small town friendliness, and who want to live in a vibrant place with a rich culture. We are not like everybody else. We don’t go off on tangents, but today I have some practical advice for guys. I know you didn’t ask, but listen up and learn something.

A friend was remarking about how I do dreaded housework instead of hiring someone else. Lots of people need jobs, I know; but I have the time (although not much inclination I admit). You can get through it with ease if you have a good attitude. If you need to be prompted, I have a few tips on making the most of housekeeping day. Here are my hacks:

  1. Remove all distractions, turn off the TV, but leave any music you like blaring. It will keep you moving. It’s okay to dance a bit.
  2. Change into comfortable clothing like gym shorts and tees. Make sure it is also not too warm in the house so you don’t sweat. If you see it as a form of exercise, then no matter. Chores definitely burn calories.
  3. Don’t clean when you are hungry or tired. Do have some water in the fridge for your break.
  4. Don’t clean when you are in a rush and have a social obligation or appointment. You won’t do a thorough job.
  5. Make a list of what needs to be done in this session. Prioritize it accordingly.
  6. Have cleaning fluids (regular or green—what I prefer), soft cloths, dish soap, and window spray on hand. Don’t plan to go to the store in the middle of your work. You won’t come back.
  7. Select a good cheap Hoover vacuum. They don’t break down and need much repair. They come in various sizes and prices. It is a must. How else will you tackle the carpet and floor.
  8. If you get a cheap vacuum, you can buy another and put one on every floor of your home. You won’t have to lug the monster up and down stairs. This will save your back and encourage you to take care of every room. It is well worth the extra expense.
  9. If you get one good one and one cheap model, use the more powerful to vacuuming up all the de-icing salt you track in the house during our tough Maine winters. Living here has few drawbacks, but this is one.
  10. Do the nastiest job first such as the toilet and bathroom shower or tub (remember what I said above about prioritizing). They take some elbow grease whereas vacuuming with a good machine practically does it for you.
  11. Reward yourself with a treat so you will look forward to cleaning day next week. This could be time on the Internet, eating something good, having a beer, or taking the dog for a walk. It is entirely your choice.

Keep the Hot Water Coming

I love my state and wouldn’t live anywhere else. It gets mighty cold in Maine in the winter, but these are our glory days. If you love outdoor sports like skiing, sledding, skating, and cross country hikes, you have come to the right place. Gorgeous white-tipped trees are all around. They wear their snow mantle with pride. I enjoy the chill in the air and the frost at night. It is all part of life in the northeast.

While some struggle with the cold and keep tabs on the water heater to make sure they don’t run out during their nightly bone-warming shower, I simply resort to a fleece vest and parka. Top this attire with a knitted hat and I’m ready for the great outdoors. Sure, I like my showers, but when my fingers and toes need thawing out, I love a long, hot bath. I wish I had my own sauna, but that is for another time.

Given that we can’t use solar, we just have to decide between electric and gas appliances. I know people who have both and they get accolades all around. You go with the way your home is set up. If you have a gas stove, then why not a gas water heater? You can install an electric tankless unit, but there are few differences in cost. In both cases, the heater is compact and takes up little space when mounted on a wall. Furthermore, both systems guarantee a significant savings in your monthly energy bill. If you are ecologically minded, by all means get a tankless style and keep the hot water coming. Get rid of the old metal tank that has probably rusted over and become truly modern.

People fear water heaters because they leak, but this is alien to a tankless device. You do not need to store a lot of extra water which seems to me to be a waste. You get hot water if and when you need it. Gas or electric—it doesn’t matter in terms of the time needed to get water of the ideal temperature. Remember, the cost is about the same so it is a no-brainer decision. When in doubt, just ask your plumber or handyman their opinion for your needs. Plus, there is a lot of information online at places like https://www.waterheaterwatch.com/.

People in Maine are practical and think about these things. I hope I am not boring you today. I am just revealing a bit about life in a frosty climate. It has its good and bad points, but mostly good. Check out my photos on Instagram and you will see a winter fairyland. Who doesn’t love the snow? Okay, I have to admit that it takes elbow grease to clear a path from your front door to the street. Try sweating in your heavy clothes for an uncomfortable feeling. Once the chore is done, you can relax in that hot bath I mentioned.

Gooo Pats!

I head to Gillette Stadium, MA whenever the Patriots are playing and I am free to make the drive. It is a two-hour trek from Maine, but not that bad if you head out early to avoid traffic. It is well worth it. Meanwhile I am on their website getting news and updates. The roster of players is well known to me. As a big fan, I love tailgating at the stadium. Who doesn’t? There are dozens of vans parked together enjoying the anticipation of a great game.

Tickets aren’t easy to come by, but I travel to other venues as well to make sure I don’t miss a live experience of my favorite team. Tailgating is always part of the action. I prepare for it well. Of course, there is the jumbo size cooler of beverages, the food to cook on portable grills, and many take with them speakers so they can blast the music of choice for the day. I bought them from Outdoor Light and Sound. Most people don’t bring anything so they use their radio or cell phone. They tell me that they enjoy listening and encourage me to keep the volume up. I can imitate surround sound. The speakers are fabulous – small, compact and powerful. I have the whole set up down pat.

Tailgating means hot dogs and hamburgers and an occasional potato or cole slaw salad. There are chips and dips and other snacks like baked beans. It is football food or it doesn’t come along. We share with our “neighbors” and sit and talk for hours about the team. Remember that time…. I am always glad to meet fans as avid as I am. We go over all the Super Bowl appearances and review the scores. Some old timers remember the merger of the original leagues. We debate who has been the best coach. Football buffs love stats and I know them all. If you live in New England, you would understand.

Meanwhile, I whip up my homemade on-the-spot barbecue sauce that draws lookie-loos from all around and a few people who want me to share it with them on Facebook. I won’t reveal the secret ingredient, but it is a special spice. My sister made it one weekend when I was over at her house watching an away game with my brother-in-law. I wanted the recipe right then and there knowing it would be a hit at tailgate parties – my specialty. I love to be the chef when a bunch of friends make a car caravan for a home game. I prepare the food for everyone and we sit around on fold-up chairs. When the weather is nice, we wear tees and shorts. I hate it when it rains, but we tailgate anyway. It is a tradition rain or shine. We stuff ourselves and the only reprieve from over eating is the game itself. No one leaves early. No matter who wins, we have a great time and everyone goes home happy. It is better, of course, if the Pats win.

An Almost Clever Deception: The Battle of Portland Harbor

The Battle of Portland Harbor is one of the most famous events in the history of Maine, particularly in Portland Maine. It occurred in the waters surrounding Portland, Maine on June 27, 1863. This was during a point in the Civil War where the results of the war where highly uncertain and the South appeared to be winning in many ways. However, the United States won the Battle of Portland Harbor.

Essentially, the Battle of Portland Harbor was characterized by a conflict between two Confederate States Navy vessels and two civilian vessels. This is a battle that helps to illustrate the brutal nature of the Civil War in many ways and the fact that it managed to divide the entire nation.

Lt. Charles W. Read commanded one of the Confederate vessels. He managed to commandeer (steal) a U.S. Revenue Cutter while there. He seemed to do so believing that the local people would not find out, but he was quickly proven wrong. The local residents of the area noticed that it was gone, and this was enough to stir up something of a local panic. The U.S. Revenue Cutter did not survive this conflict, and this had an effect on the local economy. However, the effects of the battle were more powerful culturally.

The Battle of Portland Harbor and the subsequent pursuit were relatively brief, in fact, for such a dramatic event. This was often the case with Civil War battles. However, this is a moment that truly stands out for the residents of the area, and it was certainly traumatic for the New England residents of the time. Many of them felt even less safe afterwards, knowing that even these peripheral coastal areas were not safe and that the Civil War was literally capable of traveling very far north.

You can read more about the event here.

Preparing for Maine Winters

It’s no secret that Maine winters are cold even by the standards of New England winters. Maine is further to the north than all other New England states and most of the other states in the Union. This is going to have an effect on the nature of the Maine winters that people will tend to experience year after year. People from New England who are used to dealing with cold winters might still be surprised if they’re visiting relatives in Maine for a little while.

People need to make sure that their homes have enough insulation to get through a Maine winter and that there aren’t any other issues going on. This is something that all people need to start thinking about in October if they’re going to get through Maine. This is the sort of place where people more or less need to make sure that their actual homes are winterized and not just cabins and trailers. If there is any sort of leak or another issue, people are going to know about it right away as the Maine winter starts and they can’t stay warm.

It’s also important to invest in some nice winter clothes. This is even more important in an area like this. People in some other areas might be able to make their fall wardrobe last for a relatively long period of time, especially since autumn can be fairly cold in its own right. In Maine, you really need a solid winter wardrobe that will really keep you warm on some of the coldest days of the year. Make sure that you have a very toasty winter coat. Expect that there are going to be days and nights where the temperature will drop below zero and try to plan accordingly. This is going to make you dress the part of a Maine resident living through winter.

People need to prepare for power outages as well. Maine tends to have a lot of remote areas. The power is going to go out as a result of a Maine snowstorm eventually. Maine residents need to be able to take care of themselves to a certain extent if they really want to get through all of the difficulties associated with a tough Maine winter.

Having some solar-powered generators, heaters, chargers, or lights can help. Maine may not be the sunniest place in the world, but people should still be able to generate their own power with the Maine sun if necessary. This will give people a degree of self-sufficiency. There are plenty of people who are able to live off the grid after using solar chargers and solar-powered hand-held devices, and these devices can help you get through a difficult Maine winter.

It’s also a good idea to find a way to stay busy during the sorts of long Maine winter days. You have to prepare for the possibility that you’re going to get stuck inside at one point or another. Even stocking up with a few board games can help from an entertainment perspective. Your Internet might be down eventually, and you need to make sure that you can have fun without the Internet. However, Maine winters bring opportunities for skiing and hot cocoa, and a lot of people look forward to that all year.

The Beautiful Mountains of Maine

Maine is a place where you have to make your own fun at least part of the time, and the beautiful mountains of Maine can help to make that happen. This is certainly an area that has a lot of natural beauty in general, which is one of the things that has been drawing people to Maine for centuries.

The South Turner Mountain is one of the most gorgeous in the area, especially if people are able to see it from a particular vantage point. This is a stunning and verdant mountain that will really highlight the area’s natural beauty. Mount Tire’m is actually one of the most beautiful mountains in the state, and it offers some of the least stressful climbing opportunities.

Sugarloaf Mountain is the biggest ski mountain in Maine, and it shows. This is a mountain that appears to have a lot of delicate snow cover constantly, and it’s one of the highest peaks in the whole state. Saddleback Mountain is another really great mountain for skiing, and this should make people even more excited about the natural beauty of Maine.

Even a lot of people outside of Maine have heard of Tumbledown Mountain. This is one of the most gorgeous of all of the Maine hiking spots. People going on vacation here will brave the difficulties of the upward hike just in order to see the beauty of Tumbledown Mountain for themselves.

Famous Maine Residents

There have actually been a lot of notable individuals from Maine. One of the first famous Maine residents who will come to mind for a lot of people would be Stephen King. Stephen King is one of the most famous authors in history by this point. He’s been a household name for decades, and this will only continue. Filmmakers are still making adaptations of his work.

Stephen King is also one of the most famous Maine residents because he tends to write about it so much. Many of his stories are set in Maine or reference Maine in some way or another. Other Stephen King stories are set in New England in general. As such, people will tend to associate Stephen King with Maine in a way that would not work otherwise. Many other famous Maine residents don’t tend to make it as apparent that they’re from Maine.

Not a lot of people know that Anna Kendrick was born in Maine as well. She doesn’t tend to make this obvious, but it’s true. Like a lot of celebrities from Maine, she was born in Portland, Maine specifically. She’s easily the most popular actress from Maine today, and this may be the case for a while.

The most famous Hollywood actor from Maine would be Patrick Dempsey. People certainly don’t tend to think of Patrick Dempsey when they think of Maine, but maybe they will with time. It’s getting easier for people to learn about celebrity trivia these days, and a lot of people are curious about the celebrities that were born in the same areas as them.

Only time will tell whether or not a lot of famous people from Maine will be remembered, although Stephen King will almost certainly be remembered and many people would say that Patrick Dempsey and Anna Kendrick have a good chance of making it long-term. However, people already still remember Judd Nelson’s iconic role in the film the Breakfast Club after thirty years. He’s also a celebrity who hails from Maine.

Some people are still surprised when a given celebrity comes from Maine. People seem to make the assumption that all of the famous people in the United States came from New York or Los Angeles. This is certainly not the case. Famous people do tend to end up in New York or Los Angeles, but they do not necessarily stay there long-term, and some of them never leave the states that they originally called home.

Writers like Stephen King can usually live and work anywhere. Some of them tend to have a strong connection to where they came from, and they might want to explore the area in one way or another for a longer period of time than some other celebrities.

The geography of the United States has changed over the years, particularly around Maine and Massachusetts. However, New England is an old area, and the residents of Maine have had a huge impact on American history in general.

Staying Busy in Maine

People coming from the rest of New England need to know that there is a sort of trick to staying busy in Maine. A lot of Maine residents have learned to entertain themselves without a lot of other people around, since this is a state that has a lot of remote areas. Many other Maine residents are used to finding a way to be more self-sufficient for the same reason. Staying busy in Maine is very different from staying busy in many other parts of the United States. In fact, it has more in common with staying busy in the American South or the American Midwest.

People who live in New England have often noted that Maine appears to be noticeably different from the rest of New England in many ways. Obviously, all of the different New England states are similar in many ways, owing to a shared cultural history and a similar geography. However, some people will tend to consider Maine something of an unusual section of New England in many ways.

For one thing, Maine seems to have a comparatively large number of conservative residents. This is very unusual for New England. New England residents are typically some of the most liberal individuals in the United States. New Hampshire tends to skew conservative compared with many of the other states of New England. However, this effect is significantly more apparent with Maine.

It’s very hard to really understand why this is the case. However, many people from New England who travel to Maine do tend to notice something of a culture shock. Someone going from Vermont or Massachusetts will really feel it, since these are two of the most liberal states in all of America. They might expect something like this if they were traveling to the American South, and they might be more surprised to find it in Maine. Some people have actually taken to calling Maine the ‘South of the North.’

Obviously, there are plenty of liberal individuals in Maine as well, and Southerners might still notice that Maine is very different from a good portion of the American South. In some ways, Maine also has a lot in common with the American Midwest, which varies in terms of how conservative or liberal it is. Maine is a relatively large state, at least compared with many of the other New England states. In that regard, it is more similar to a Midwestern state. This means that there are going to be significantly more remote areas in a state like Maine.

Having a lot of remote areas in any state is going to have an effect on all of the residents. It means that there are going to be a lot of small towns in Maine, and this is still the case even today. People who have read Stephen King’s fiction will be introduced to this side of Maine over and over again. States that have a lot of remote areas will tend to develop a specific culture as well. There are lots of people in Maine that have something of a ‘pioneer’ sensibility, so to speak.

Lots of people in Maine are used to living apart from other people, and they’re used to having to fend for themselves in some of the more remote parts of the state. This is something that people will find in the Midwest and other parts of the United States. In New England, this is a less common attitude. However, people from New England will get a taste of both the South and the Midwest if they do decide to go to Maine.

Maine is also distinct from the rest of New England in that it really lacks a lot of really famous cities. Massachusetts has a lot of famous and populated cities. Given that Boston is full of a lot of great colleges, this is the sort of state that tends to attract people from all over the country and all over the world. Rhode Island has Providence. Vermont tends to attract a lot of people on the basis of its natural beauty and the perception that it’s like a New England version of California. Maine has a lot of natural and mountainous beauty that people should discover for themselves.

Maine has fewer famous cities that attract people from all over the country and all over the world. Massachusetts has a tendency to be the part of New England that gets the most attention. Essentially, Maine has a lot of small town people and a lot of people who are used to knowing only other Maine residents. This has an effect on shaping the culture and on shaping the politics of the area. The New England visitors who are expecting that Maine will be the same will have a tendency to focus on what is different. They can’t spend a lot of time going to the cities there or visiting famous historical landmarks.

Maine still has the same cold climate that helps to make New England famous or infamous in some circles. In fact, it’s colder than the rest of New England. In fact, the cold climate of Maine has a tendency to only increase its connection to certain parts of the Midwest, making people more self-reliant. They are also self-reliant when it comes to staying busy.