We Got Some Good Karma In Our Lives

Horses and boats. I’m not sure why this is a common combination, but it seems to be rampant.  No less in our household than in any other, it seems. It’s like we have an addiction to really fun hobbies into which you pour money or something.  I don’t talk about my love of horses much and I’ve never shared my horse journeys here, but this one is special. Both the horse and the journey, and one worth telling.

My trainer, Jess, texted this summer from a horse auction while we were on an island for our lobster bake. When she texted, Jon and I were walking in the middle of a pine stand surrounded by granite, the sound of the ocean touching the beach, and the light casting late afternoon shadows through a fern stand up the path a bit. When shore side life inserts itself into boat life, even though we’ve been doing it for years, there’s this moment of focus required to bring attention to a part of our life we aren’t living at the moment. Our life on the boat is so rhythmic, tied to the weather, and the now that thoughts of winter and planning are sometimes surreal. Such was the case with our conversation.

Let me be clear, I was not in the market for a horse after having sold an older rescue horse last year.  While I ride all winter long and often more than one horse per day, I was perfectly happy riding other people’s horses. I’d been saying out loud that I wouldn’t be buying my own horse again until both girls were out of school. Sure.

Then Jess texted. A horse had just been bought by a “kill buyer”, so her future was as either meat or glue. She had a soft eye, a nice way of moving, wasn’t lame, and was super skinny. One, of course I’m a sucker, so saving a good horse from death, well, please. Two, the idea of training my own horse with only Jess or me to ride and work with her was undeniably enticing.

So in the middle of lobster bake island, surrounded by pines and granite and ocean, (and with Jon’s blessing I must add) I bought my next horse! She’s 5 years old, an off the track Thoroughbred. She was in a sketchy lesson program where she developed a “bucking problem”. Which to me means something hurt or she was really done with being treated poorly and had some things to say, i.e. bucked.

These are the first photos I got of her before we met.  Her nickname was Skinny Legs or Annie’s Mare until I was able to spend some time with her and get to know her.  I’ll be posting once a month about my journey with her. Oh, and her name is Good Karma, her show name is Gilkey’s Harbor, and she is a super sweet soul.

Annie
Winter projects!

Calm and settled on one of her first days at the barn.
A couple of days after she arrived in a paddock by herself to begin with. She needs about 300 pounds on her. That round belly is actually not great = worms, sand, and/or malnourished.
There’s that soft eye and head low even though she’s in a new home.
Those shoulder bones, though!
Eating was hard for her in the beginning until we could get her teeth power floated.
The dentist power floating Karma’s teeth. The horse needs to be sedated for this process, and you can see why. If this isn’t done, they develop burrs or horns on their teeth which make eating very painful.
Head in a grain bucket shortly after the dentist was done!
Getting plump! Photo by Amy Miller.

 

Best Maine Attraction – Maine Windjammers

Well, would ya look at that!  USA Today discovered what we already knew, that windjamming is awesome!

USA Today 10 Best Awards   The top 10 winners in the category Best Maine Attraction are as follows:

  1. Maine Windjammers – Rockland & Camden – That’s us!!
  2. Pemaquid Point Light – Bristol
  3. Maine Maritime Museum – Bath
  4. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – Boothbay
  5. Moosehead Lake
  6. Acadia National Park
  7. Owls Head Transportation Museum – Owls Head
  8. Maine Huts & Trails
  9. Portland Head Light – Cape Elizabeth
  10. The Marginal Way – Ogunquit

Annie
Nice to be among some pretty great attractions.

Wellness Tea

Echinacea is a beautiful flower in the herb or perennial garden.  We are lucky enough to have the purple cone flowers dotting several of our beds.  Not only is it a lovely friend to enjoy in the garden, when dried, the flowers and roots have healing and immune boosting properties.

The girls and I dig Echinacea root with our friends every fall so both families have a winter’s supply of dried flowers and roots for tea and tincture.

If you don’t have Echinacea in your garden, no worries, it’s easily found in natural food stores. When anyone feels the first sign of a cold coming on, this is the first things that goes on the stove.

Wellness Tea
2 quarts water
2/3 cup lemon juice from organic lemons; about 3 lemons
9 slices ginger root, 1/8-inch thick
2/3 cup local honey
5 or 6 pieces dried Echinacea root and flowers (use several drops of tincture per mug as a substitute)

Bring the water, ginger root, and Echinacea root to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. If you are using Echinacea tincture reserve this until you pour your steaming mug of tea. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and honey. Sip all day long as desired, heating up each time. Strain any tea you don’t drink over the day into a glass jar and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Makes 2 quarts

Wait, That’s Me!

AnnaAsAnnieHalloween

A number of years ago, I was impersonated for Halloween.  First and only time I became a Halloween character!  She got the hair, the t-shirt, the apron, the cargo pants, and the shoes down!   Anna Poisson, daughter to E who is our Shoreside Manager, dreamed up this costume.  Maybe I should go trick or treating as me this year, huh?

Downrig and Getting Set for Winter

Storing things in the barn using the tackle system attached a cantilevered beam.

Well, the last of the crew left yesterday and that puts another season in the books for us.

The wood is stacked, the boat wrapped, the systems winterized, and small boats in the barn. From the galley, the dry goods are all stored in the barn, the jams re-canned, and the leftovers from the boat turned into soups. I am now remembering how to cook for only 3 people again. All of which mean we are readying for winter and it’s time for us to say ‘farewell’ to the crew.

We use so many jams and jellies that are homemade that I can’t bring myself to through them all out. That’s a lot of work to throw away. So I heat everything to a boil and re-can them individually in sterilized jars.
Clockwise from the top: Keilbasa and White Bean Soup; Cauliflower Cheddar and Jalapeno Soup; Asian Duck and Bok Choy Soup; White Bean Hummus; Creamy Beef and Matsutake Sauce.

Erin and Chives piled into his car, packed full with their life’s gear, on a fall road trip which will meander through New England and eventually end in California in December. None of us wanted to say ‘goodbye’ even though we are all onto fall and winter adventures about which we are excited. Instead we said, “See ya tomorrow”. The only difference is that we hugged and held on for a second.

Farewell, Good People!

 

Crinner 2017

As the season comes to an end, we always find a fun way to celebrate our summer together. Often it involves a bit of food and drink and sitting leisurely around the table together. Sometimes that’s been pizza and bowling and other times it’s been ice cream for dinner followed by a movie. I’ve always wanted to do an escape room or a paint ball fight, but that will have to wait for another time.

This year’s Crinner (crew + dinner) included a wine tasting (while we all pretended to be grown ups) from the Wine Seller and eating a dinner that not one of us made, catered by Café Miranda. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful year.

A huge thanks goes out to all of the crew and volunteers who helped end our season well. Shout out to Sam and Lindsey for taking a day off of their “real jobs” to come help schlep boxes and more boxes.  Shout out to Donna Anderson, our super good friend, for her wine expertise and inspiration.  Shout out to our crew – you are forever part of the Riggin‘s history!  Thanks for taking such good care of our girl!

The array of wine. We chose approachable wines that were classics. No blends here.
The array of wine. We chose approachable wines that were classics. No blends here.  Also, they aren’t in order yet in this photo (just in case there are any of you out there who are detail driven 🙂 )
First crack at the cheese board! The cheese board master, Chives, gets to go first!
First crack at the cheese board! The cheese board master, Chives, gets to go first!
Whites first.
Whites first.  Oops, that Seghesio Zinfandel was at the very end – and AWESOME!
Reds next and port to finish.
Reds next and port to finish.
Joisting with micro-planers gifted by Betsy.
Jousting with micro-planers gifted by Betsy.
We all fit at the table!
We all fit at the table!

Endings and Beginnings

The cover almost fully on.
The cover almost fully on.

It’s been a week now since our last sailing day and already I miss the wide open sky; seeing the horizon when the sun sets and rises; and living outside.

Our first day on shore saw the entire boat change. Within hours the cabins were empty of linens, mattresses, curtains, and anything else that makes them habitable – for people or for mice. The galley was a whirl of banana boxes and milk crates filled to the brim with dry goods and equipment. After two days of bee-hive like intensity, the galley is also barren of any sign that on a daily basis, all summer long, three abundant meals are produced and consumed in short order by our guests.

Betsy's Prius stuffed to the brim with 14 banana boxes.
Betsy’s Prius stuffed to the brim with 14 banana boxes.

These changes help me recognize that our transition to shore has begun. The ending of each season brings both satisfaction and a little melancholy. The feeling of a job well done in creating a safe and happy season for our crew and our many beloved guests is strong. This is also tinged with a tiny sadness that it has again come to an end. At the same time there is more space in our days which we quickly fill up with private conversation and cozy time on the couch, riding horses, playing music, talking with family, and even cleaning the house.

What’s interesting is that I don’t pine for one place over the other. When I’m cooking on my wood stove I never yearn for my gas stove at home and when I’m at home cooking for us or catering for a crowd, I don’t wish for my wood stove. The same is true for my bunk. When I sleep on the boat, I love hearing the light lap of the ocean against the hull, the rain on the deck, and the smell of pine tar and wood. When I’m home, half the time we sleep with the window open so we can smell the fresh air and it’s luxuriant to climb into cozy sheets under a beautiful duvet and have a little space to spread out.

View out of our bedroom window - our nature for now.
View out of our bedroom window – our nature for now.

The settling in to either of our homes, the boat and our house, always feels like the shifting of weather seasons, sometimes there is resistance to what is coming and also a knowing that whatever we are leaving will come around again. There is also a looking forward to the new.

Annie
Homeward Bound

Fun Photo Friday

The Hungry Lobster

The Hungry Lobster

The second edition of At Home, At Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer has both lobster recipes and a section on how to do your own lobster bake.  Of course, it’s even more fun when you are with us on a Maine island gazing out at the schooner and the sunset in the background, but hey, your backyard is a close second!  Check out our Kickstarter campaign to be a part of the second edition printing!