Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There is something to be said about supporting local industry. I can definitely get behind fresh dairy products: milk, butter, sour cream, and mmmmmmm the ice cream.

...another man's treasure.

Now that we have been in Maine for just over 5 weeks things are finally starting to feel "normal" I guess.  Everyday is still an adventure - but I am sure it will be that way for awhile.  We are still moving boxes around and unpacking now that we have some space cleared out.  The house we are renting is FULL of our landlord's furniture and his parents belongings.  He told me that the house was furnished but wow.  The drawers were even full of things!  One drawer contained a gold Buddha coin bank that my daughter thinks is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen... that being said, there are all sorts of oddities that we have cleaned out and placed in a storage room so that we can actually live here and not out of a box or suitcase.  

I still can't believe we have so much junk of our own and I am determined not to keep it when we move again.  This calls for a YARD SALE.   I have never actually had a yard sale because of how far into the sticks we lived when we were in Georgia, but there is a first time for everything.  Apparently with the lack of retail options in this part of Maine yard sales are very popular.  I hope someone will buy our junk...I really want to get rid of the clutter.  I also hope this can be a positive experience for my daughter.  Her hoarding tendencies are starting to become obvious and I see this as an opportunity to teach her a few life lessons before her problem gets out of control.  Just how many stuffed animals does a little girl need??  Why must she save every piece of paper that she has colored on??  I have always been sentimental and nostalgic but moving has taught me that I don't need half of this stuff!!  I also don't need half of these clothes!!!  So if you are in the area in a few weeks, stop by my yard sale... and let our junk become yours!  We have the most well-traveled junk in this part of the country...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trading BBQ and Collards for Fiddleheads and Whoopie Pies

I am in a new world that looks familiar. This part of Maine looks much like extreme north Georgia or even North Carolina.  Beautiful rolling hills and mountains with lovely trees and breathtaking views. I do feel at home here and when I am just with my husband and kids nothing much seems changed and Georgia doesn't seem all that far away. Then we go to the grocery store or try a new restaurant and this is where the differences begin to show.  Here are a few things I have noticed about life in Aroostook County, Maine:

  • Fiddleheads are in season (see picture to the right).  I had never heard of fiddleheads until I came here.  Apparently now is the time to pick them.  They grow near elm trees and in marshy places and are supposed to taste much like asparagus.  We may try to find some tomorrow and give them a try... I'll let you know how that turns out...
  • Whoopie Pies are divine and I could have that marshmallow fluff every day if it were possible and I didn't want to be as big as a house. They also cause 3 year olds to go into a sugar high that is impossible to come down from without a few laps around the playground and they probably keep the dentists in business here. The picture to the right was staged.
  • The snow melts away the lines in the road and you have to be from here to know where the lines are supposed to be. Between the lack of lined roads and the frost heaves we will probably keep a mechanic in business.  The roads up here make Alabama's roads seem like perfection. 
  • There is no such thing as a private dinner-conversation in a restaurant.  Emalee, with her beautiful red curls and sassy attitude, is quite an attention-grabber and people are simply friendly.  
  • Everyone knows what my husband does simply because we are new to town.
  • I looked everywhere for hot dog buns today.  Here they have "frankfurter rolls".  I think I like them better... 
  • All of the restaurants have Coca-Cola signs. Whoever the Coca-Cola salesman is up here is doing a fine job.  In Georgia, restaurants have a logo and "brand".  Here, every restaurant has their own following and specialty but you would never know it by their sign - it is almost funny.   I guess that is how they get around the fact that Maine doesn't allow billboards.  Coca-Cola is doing just fine with the advertising it is getting from restaurants and country markets.  I'll post some pictures of what I mean soon...
  • The black flies are out. They are a pain. I want them to go away. 
  • When someone says that plowing is included with your rent they are not referring to helping out with the garden.  They mean that they will plow the snow from your driveway. I arrived too late for that to be necessary, but it is a great benefit.  Imagine my surprise when I was negotiating my rent with our landlord while in Georgia and he said he would do the mowing and the plowing.  I was so excited to be having a garden until I realized what he meant.  I have a lot to learn about the winters up here...
  • Snowmobiles are called sleds. 
  • The driveway is called the "dooryard". Don't ask, I don't get it either. 
  • Many of the homes out in the country are literally connected to the barns. It is funny, almost like the house was originally built away from the barn and they added it to it so many times that it finally was connected to the barn.  I guess that is their way of avoiding the snow when they go to check on the cows in the winter. I will have to get a picture of that, too... 
  • I still can't force myself to use the word "wicked".  I also can't stop saying "y'all" and am more aware of how frequently I say it. 
  • Maple syrup tastes better up here.
These are just a few things I have figured out since our arrival nearly a month ago.  As we explore I am sure we will make more discoveries... but life is good in Maine and I am enjoying being a tourist for a few years. Now I need to go find some fiddlehead recipes...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Anti-Social Networking

I haven't written in several days.  There are many reasons for this... I have sat down to "blog" on more than one occasion and simply couldn't think of anything clever to say. I have no idea who wants to read my rantings and ravings or even a recap of my day. I don't want this to get too personal because who really wants to know the inner workings of my head? Who really wants to have true insight into what I am going through right now?

The past few days I have given thought to just how disconnected I feel from the world now that I have moved to Maine. As I have pondered this, I have thought about the things that keep us from picking up the phone and talking to a friend.  I talked to my dad the other day and he said that a friend of his told him that she believes that neighbors stopped talking to each other the day that air conditioning was invented.  Think about it and now think about how technology has done this to us as well.  I have most recently begun to base my perception of who my "true friends" are completely on whether or not they have called me or even simply emailed me since I left Georgia.  This is silly because I know I have wonderful friends that have done neither.  We "tweet" and text and comment on each other's Facebook statuses, but are we really socializing???  How many times have I been guilty of checking up on a friend's Facebook page to see what was going on in their life rather than simply calling up for a chat.  My reasoning? I don't want to intrude or interrupt what is going on in their life.  I may call at a bad time. It might be inconvenient.  So it is easier to check up on them when it is convenient for me.

BUT... how does this really make us feel?  It makes us feel privy to information on what is going on in people's lives that we hardly ever talk to. I currently have almost 600 friends on Facebook.  Do I want to talk to 600 people on the phone?  Probably not.  I guess it's cool to know that someone I went to college with is eating Mexican tonight for dinner or that another friend's son flushed their watch down the toilet, but does this meet our human need for interaction?  Does this really make me feel connected to another human being? Not exactly.

So that's why I haven't written in a few days.

I have been trying to focus on cultivating new friendships in a new town. I have been spending more time with my family and more time really talking with my husband.  I've been kicking the ball outside with my daughter and making silly faces with my 12 week old son. I have been trying to call friends that I haven't talked to in awhile and actually hear what is going on in their life rather than just reading about it online.

I'm trying to be social.

I'm also trying to figure out why I am doing this blog.  Is it so that it can serve as a tool for communicating with friends and family back home what is going on in our lives?  I think I just answered that question with this post.  I will be posting quirky things about our life here in Maine, but if you want to hear what we are up to, pick up the phone and give us a call.  My number hasn't changed!!

OK... I have to run now.  I need to go post this to my Facebook page so someone might actually read my rant...