Posted: March 24th, 2017 | Author: eliza | Filed under: bedroom, for rent, fun, heating, kitchen, life, living room, photos | No Comments »
We’re headed out of state for a few years, starting in August 2017, and we’re looking for a few good people to take over the farmhouse while we’re gone. Ideally you love quirky old houses, you’re a little bit handy with maintenance stuff, you need a lot of space, and you’ll appreciate the unique character of this special place.
The house is ca. 1830′s? and has been renovated many times over the years, but still has lots of historic character. It currently has 4 usable bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms (one upstairs and one downstairs) including new washer and dryer, huge, newly renovated eat-in kitchen with new dishwasher, livingroom, and 3 other rooms that are unheated in the winter but are great for storing stuff or summer studio space, etc. We are asking for $1200/month, which doesn’t include utilities. We need to measure the square footage… Best guess is around 2000-2500 SF of usable space. We are happy to leave you as much or as little furniture as you want to use.
We’re located about 45-50 minutes from Portland, 50 minutes from a few different ocean beaches, and about 1 hour from North Conway and hiking in the White Mountains. The nearest posted hiking trails are on Sawyer Mountain, about 5 minutes away, and we’re within 10 minutes of a dozen different swimming and wading spots on the Saco River and assorted lakes, ponds and swimming holes. (Our local swimming options are pretty fantastic!) There is also a little Limington town beach with clean sand, mountain views, docks, picnic tables, clean outhouses and easy parking, on Horne Pond, 9 minutes from here. Season pass is $30 for residents and canoe rental is $1/hour. We’re also close to Dole’s Orchard, with U-Pick berries, apples and fruit throughout the whole summer and fall, as well as 3 or 4 other U-Pick orchards nearby. We’re 10 minutes from the nearest Hannaford grocery in Standish, and 10 minutes from Cornish, which has a very cute downtown filled with small shops, a smaller grocery store, farm supply store, pharmacy, etc. Our favorite restaurants in the neighborhood are Krista’s in Cornish and O.Dan’s in Standish, and every now and then we stop by The Peppermill in Limerick. We love our sweet little neighborhood coffee shop and bakery, Snickerdoodles, 2 minutes from home. There are also plenty of cheap pizza places, and a substantial variety store/grocery/hardware store/gas station about 3 minutes away. In the summertime we’ve got our pick of four different ice cream stands within 10-15 minutes! And we’re a very short walk from the tiny Limington Public Library.
We have 2 acres of green space, including a sweet little patio for BBQ and summer relaxing, a wood-fired sauna(!), a sunny clothesline, a little raised-bed garden, some overgrown pear trees, lots of lawn and a bit of wild jungle, some quaint old stone walls and foundations. We will leave you our mower – we usually do some mowing every weekend to stay on top of it, otherwise the grass can get too tall to mow! Or, we can talk about hiring someone for maintenance if you don’t want to deal with it.
Our driveway just sucks, but you’ll get used to it. We will cover the cost of plowing in the winter.
We have access to a beautiful walking trail via our neighbor’s land – he owns ~50 acres of woods adjacent to our land, and generously allows us free access to his trails. Our usual morning walk is about 1.5 miles / 30 minutes through woods and meadows, and it’s one of our favorite things about living here, although it does require muck boots in the spring, mosquito nets in the summer, blaze orange gear during hunting season, snowshoes, crampons, and/or gaiters in the winter! It’s worth it though, to enjoy the woods and see and feel the seasons coming and going day by day.
KITCHEN: this is the room that’s been most thoroughly renovated. We stripped it to the studs and re-built everything, including custom cabinets and shelving. Double oven, new dishwasher, older fridge. Nice big vintage hutch for storing dishes etc. Exposed beams on the ceiling, brand-new large bay window, original maple wood flooring which was refinished 4 years ago but is now showing signs of wear in the busy areas. This room is heavily insulated and stays toasty warm in the winter. New high-efficiency woodstove with a pretty hearth. A wide, open doorway leads into the livingroom.
LIVINGROOM: big windows, big old couch, fresh wallboard, bumpy old wide-plank flooring, ugly old 70′s ceiling. We’re currently finishing up installation of a beautiful glass-paned door from livingroom to front parlor, which lets in lots of sunlight from the front of the house.
FRONT PARLOR: this is one of the un-heated rooms. It’s large and pretty, but we don’t use it much in the winter. In the summer it serves as additional living space. Two couches, lots of room to relax.
BEDROOM 1: medium-sized. painted gray. recently renovated. has two closets without doors. heated by baseboard radiators. partial wood paneling. trim work has been finished since these photos were taken. no bed provided, but the matching dresser, mirror and armoire can be left for you to use. this room is not on the street, it’s usually quieter, but it’s pretty close to the neighbor’s house and she has chickens, roosters, dogs, and occasional late-night festivities on her deck, so it’s quiet some nights and noisy other times. two windows are north-facing and shaded by trees in summer, so this bedroom has the least bright sunshine.
BEDROOM 2: large room with tons of windows. faces the street, gets lots of sunshine, plus street noise. we live on a kinda busy road and hear traffic sounds day and night. It doesn’t bother me much, we’re just used to it as background noise and it’s never woken me up at night or bothered me in the day, but this isn’t the ideal haven if you’re looking for a silent sanctuary. this room is heated by a brand-new high-efficiency heat-exchange pump, it’s a split unit that does heat in the winter and AC in the summer and it has a remote control for thermostat control. there is one closet with a door, and some built-in shelving and drawers. This room currently has a double bed and an elliptical workout machine, which are both available for you to use, or can be removed.
BEDROOM 3: this is a mirror image of bedroom #2. large room with tons of windows. faces the street, gets tons of sunshine, plus street noise. this room is heated by a brand-new high-efficiency heat-exchange pump, it’s a split unit that does heat in the winter and AC in the summer and it has a remote control for thermostat control. there is one closet without a door, a large storage unit, small bookshelf, a queen-sized bed and box-spring, and a love seat by the window. These can all be left for you, or removed. The floor has been re-painted since these photo were taken.
BEDROOM 4: Medium-sized bedroom. Two big windows, south-facing, plenty of sunshine but not as bright as the street-facing rooms. It has new marmoleum flooring (that’s a natural, tree-based version of linoleum) which is beautifully smooth and clean, feels nice underfoot in both summer and winter. There is a large closet with no door and a small built-in shelf. This room will be mostly left unfurnished. This room has its own thermostat, heated by baseboard radiators.
We use about 3 cords of seasoned firewood (usually around $500-600/yr) plus 500 gallons of oil each winter. Some of the house is freshly insulated and some is old and drafty. We have a great, modern high-efficiency woodstove and a multi-zone oil-burning furnace with hot-water baseboard radiators, and two bedrooms heated and cooled by a brand-new high-efficiency heat pump. We try to be frugal about heat, we keep the thermostat at 58 and keep the woodstove burning all day, which keeps us pretty cozy in the kitchen and livingroom. On the second floor, we turn down the heat in the bedrooms every morning and turn it up at night. Two of the bedrooms have baseboard radiators connected to the furnace; the other two are connected to the heat pump. Each bedroom has its own separate thermostat controls. In the summer, the first floor (especially the kitchen) stays amazingly cool through most of the season. The second floor can get really hot – two of the bedrooms get A/C from the heat pumps, which feels amazing in the dog days of summer. In the other two bedrooms, we get by with a fan in the window. Sometimes it’s sweaty, but luckily, summer nights in Maine are mostly fresh and cool.
Electricity averages around $60/month. High-speed Internet around 45/month. We don’t use a land-line, just cell phones, but I think there is phone lines coming into the house so you could activate one if you want it.
Posted: March 4th, 2012 | Author: eliza | Filed under: fun, kitchen, life, woodworking | Tags: kitchen shelves | No Comments »
beautiful drive to Vermont and back
Monday was Presidents Day, so Mike had the day off from work and we made a kind of impulse decision to drive over to Vermont and buy some butternut wood! We needed some more butternut wood to finish our kitchen shelving project, and we were surprised to discover that none of the local hardwood lumber yards sells butternut! Turns out it’s not that popular. Mike took a look around the internet and found a place in Marshfield, VT called Vermont Wildwoods, that sells salvaged butternut wood – we didn’t realize that, sadly, butternut trees are suffering a blight that’s killing them off pretty quickly (similar to Dutch Elm disease that killed all the elm trees a few decades back). Vermont Wildwoods sells “irregular” butternut wood cut from the fallen and disease-killed trees, paying loggers to leave the healthy trees intact and instead salvage the wood from the fallen trees. The wood from these trees has interesting and irregular grain patterns, and the whole concept seems pretty cool. So, unable to work in the wood-shop since we’d run out of usable wood, we decided to take the day off and go fetch some more wood from Vermont. The trip was four hours heading due west, through Crawford Notch and the White Mountain National Forest, into the hills of Vermont. It was perfect and sunny out, and we got to check out lots of snowy peaks, cute little tourist towns, busy ski slopes, old farm houses and winding country roads along the way.
The guy from Vermont Wildwoods was super nice and helpful, letting us pick through a huge stack of butternut lumber to find the right planks for our job. It seems like he normally works with builders on big-scale architectural projects so he did a nice favor in letting us show up (on a holiday!) and dig through his wood for this little small-potatoes project. We took plenty of time to pick just the right pieces. My parents let us borrow their truck for the trip, so we had room to carry all the wood home. Now we’ve got this huge stack of wood waiting to be planed down, glued, sanded, cut up and assembled into our kitchen shelving!
our new wood!
Posted: September 18th, 2011 | Author: eliza | Filed under: fun, nature, tourism | Tags: fall, hiking, intervale, travel, vacation | No Comments »
We took a week off to catch our breath and chill out with some friends in the family cabin in Intervale, the white mountains of New Hampshire. Way back when we first saw this house for sale, I remember thinking, “Limington — that’s close to Intervale! Let’s move there!” so it’s been really great to actually spend some more time there this season. We had ambitious plans to do lots of hiking and brought along our newish AMC hiking guide with the intention of checking out some new trails. It turned out to be a little difficult because of the recent hurricane. Our first hike was going to be Sugarloaf mountain, near Crawford Notch area, but it turned out that Route 302, the only road through the notch area, was closed because of a bridge washed out in the hurricane! With no real detour route available, we resorted to taking a much shorter hike, to splash and wade in the icy pools at Diana’s Baths, a perennial favorite.
with friends at Diana’s Baths
Next day we picked out another new hike, Champney Brook Trail, which follows the brook partway up the back side of Mt. Chocorua, from a trailhead off the Kankamagus highway to a series of waterfalls with some mountain views from the top of the falls. Since the rivers were all running high after the hurricane, we thought it would be a good time for a waterfall trail, and with an unseasonably warm afternoon it was perfect for splashing in the stream a bit. The trail was a pretty gentle ascent at first, with an astounding array of beautiful mushrooms and toadstools and fungi growing everywhere, and the first bright-colored sugar maple leaves on the ground, in contrast with the balmy weather.
It was about 1 hour gentle climbing through mossy pine forest, alongside the brook the whole time, until we reached the upper loop of the trail. You’re supposed to go up the left side of the loop, alongside the falls, where the path becomes a fairly steep rocky staircase. We stopped at the lower part of the falls and explored off to the left, beyond the main brook, where big rock cliffs rise up on each side of a little gorge with a tall, slender little waterfall at the back.
Climbing further up the rocky steps, we came up on top of the bigger falls. You have to clamber across some big boulders to get into the middle of the brook before you can see a lovely sliver of mountains between the trees.
I think you can continue further up the trail from here, probably to higher falls and wider views, and eventually I think this path leads to the summit of Mt. Chocorua, but we had to get Kristi back to the airport in Portland that evening, so we didn’t linger to explore further – pretty much jogged back down the trail, to the puppy’s delight. This was a fun hike, pretty quick and easy if you don’t mind a very little bit of steep, scrambly ascent.
clouds and white mountains. from the Intervale scenic vista.
Friday we planned a bigger hike, and found a beautiful trail description of an 8-mile hike accessible from a long dirt road in the Evans Notch area, right on the Maine/NH border in a much quieter, more remote part of the White Mountain National Forest. Woke up to bitter cold, grey and cloudy skies. We stopped in town to buy me a warm wooly winter hat – I figured that was the least bulky way to keep from getting chilled on the trail – and then drove on over Hurricane Mountain towards the Maine border, as the grey skies turned to rain. It was a gorgeous drive up 113 into the park, as the road became a winding single lane. When we got to our turnoff to the dirt road, it was closed off due to hurricane wash-out. We would’ve had to walk an extra 5 miles in rain to reach the trail head, so instead we reconsidered and picked out a plan B, which was The Roost trail, just a few hundred yards down the road, a very quick 1.8 mile loop trail, very steep scramble up to a high bluff with a lovely view. It took maybe 20 minutes to scramble straight up to the summit, and then we had a leisurely snack and enjoyed the cloudy view. (Our sandwiches were notably super delicious, from the Local Grocery in North Conway which I would highly recommend!)
Thankfully the return leg of the loop is a gentler pitch, easier on the knees for descending. We crossed a tiny stream and saw some kind of old stone foundation right on the banks – probably the remains of a little mill, I guess? Soon we passed a few apple trees, mixed in among the pine and beech. We didn’t see any other signs of human life, but it must’ve been a farmstead with an orchard or something. Amazing that the apple trees were the longest lasting sign that somebody had once lived there, in the middle of what is now an utterly remote forest. The apples looked big and beautiful, but I tried one and it was awfully sour!
sour apples, wild river?
It was a lovely hike, but felt a little short, since we’d been thinking to do a whole big day-long expedition. On the way home we stopped at the top of Hurrican Mountain and hiked up to Black Cap, which is another familiar favorite! Even with clouds it was spectacular.
Mike and Dan decided to go back to Limington that evening, both because it had gotten quite cold, and because they needed to get some work done and wanted a better internet connection. And Laika and I decided to stay on in Intervale by ourselves! It wasn’t too awfully cold, with the electric blanket and some warm PJ’s.
Next day Laika and I picked out a few hikes, plans A, B and C, since we didn’t know which trails might be closed due to hurricane damage. We were tempted to try a big hike up Mt. Chocorua but decided to put it off til later (maybe next year?) and ended up just taking a walk along Sawyer River in Crawford Notch near the bridge that had washed out on 302. It was a dirt road, again closed off with a sign about hurricane damage. I thought it might not be safe to drive, but it looked perfectly walkable and delightfully deserted, perfect for letting the dog run off-leash. So we set off into the woods and had a nice hour-long walk before we abruptly came to the very edge of the world! The road had washed out almost completely. We didn’t even think about trying to go on any further, let alone going anywhere near the edge! Just turned back home. On the way we stopped by the river to splash a bit. No scenic vistas on this walk, but a nice quiet time in the woods, with the sound of the rushing river nearby.
hurricane damage, woodsy delights
Next time we plan hiking adventures in the white mountains we’ll definitely have to research trail and road conditions, since it seemed like almost every dirt / gravel road was damaged or at least closed off. Hopefully it will be easier to get around by springtime! The missing bridge on 302 had been replaced by the end of the week.
temporary bridge on 302
It was great to have a long quiet weekend in Intervale with just me and the dog and the birds outside in the trees. I got to do some sketching, and some reading, and some good relaxing by the fireside.
Posted: September 10th, 2011 | Author: eliza | Filed under: excitement, fun, life | No Comments »
photo by Pamela Vachon
We got married! It was really fun.
Sometimes (many, many times) it seemed like a crazy idea to get married at our house, in our back yard, in the middle of trying to renovate our house, especially since our back yard was nothing but a giant pile of garbage and tenacious weeds and brambles. But I think the whole idea is about being together, with your entire family and your whole circle of wonderful human beings, and being who you are, how you are, all together. We wouldn’t want to get married in some impersonal place, all dressed in white and made up to look like different people. We just wanted to have a big fun party with everyone we love, in our own space. And we did, and it was great. I wish we could have so many of our favorite people together in one place more often.
We cannot thank our friends and family and neighbors enough for all the incredible amounts of hard work that everyone did to help us get everything ready!!!!! We got SO MUCH work done in a big hurry because of this big exciting deadline, and because of the generous help of so many friends and family!
Our back yard has definitely never looked this beautiful before, and may never look this good again. Giant collapsing wreck of a barn notwithstanding. It was pure magic to see our back yard transformed into this beautiful space filled with loving faces, bright wildflowers and bunting, delicious food and drink and music.
If you wanted to see 1,000,000 more photos of the big day, you could see them here.
Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: eliza | Filed under: fun, Local Attractions, nature, tourism | 1 Comment »
I wish I got to spend more time in Maine’s mid-coast area; it’s beautiful and filled with interesting stuff to do – nature, history, art, craft, food, museums, concerts and festivals, antiquing and flea-marketing, beaches and boating, hiking, rugged and remote stony coastlines and pretty little seaside towns filled with victorian mansions. Here’s a quick overview of the region from Downeast Magazine. The Maine coastline is a convoluted fractal landscape of fjords and islands and peninsulas, and a lot of the interesting stuff is way down at the end of peninsulas so it can sometimes take a long time to drive a short distance. Route 1 is the coastal route that heads from Portland all the way up towards the Canadian border; it passes by some gorgeous scenery, salt marshes and busy harbors as it hugs the contours of the coastline and passes through dozens of amazing little seaside towns and tourist stops, but it’s a two-lane road that tends to get brutally congested during summer weekends and basically for the entire month of august and anytime there’s some event going on, plus especially backed-up at all the bridges where it crosses from one peninsula to another – we’ve sat in some epic traffic jams on both sides of the bridge in Wiscasset. So either bring some snacks and good tunes and be ready to take it slowly, or else consider strategic use of 95 or 295 to get up to Augusta and then head east to the coast. You’ll miss some lovely scenery but in the busy season it’s often the faster way to go. If you do pass near Augusta, it’s seriously worth stopping for a meal at A1 Diner in Gardiner, a cute and colorful classic diner with excellent eats including some great sweet-potato fries.
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