Thursday, May 23, 2013

Living Off the Land

It's been a rainy one. All week has been soggy, cloudy, and chilly. (Is it just me, or is soggy is a gross word?) And since the flowers and trees are just now blooming up here, that means allergies are finally catching up to me. I knew they were lurking around the corner, just waiting to attack. So, after their long awaited appearance, they've hit me on the rainiest week yet (which makes me feel even ickier). Yet, I'm not complaining. It's really been a great week with a long, exciting weekend vastly approaching.

So here's my tale for now:

A couple weekends ago, Patrick was asked to go fly fishing. I consider my husband as an outdoorsy guy, but not the fishing and hunting outdoorsy type. He's more of the hiking, camping, nature-lover kind of outdoorsy-man. Needless to say, he knows next to nothing about fishing, but being the adventurous sport that he is, he gladly accepted the invitation. He traveled about two hours north of here (which is straight-up wilderness) and jumped in a canoe on a cold, rainy Saturday to fly fish his little heart out.

And he didn't do so bad. He caught five brook trout (the biggest one jumped back in the he says), which I would consider a success for his first fly fishing trip.

Don't you think the shirt is fitting? We wore our seat belts to a hockey game and got these XXL t-shirts. It goes nicely with our collection.

His friend was nice enough to gut the fish before he brought them home, but it was still a gross job on my end. After a short Google search, I figured out how to cook fresh fish (I only buy the cheap frozen kind when it's on sale).

I mixed up a little flour batter, buttered the pan, and fried it right up. Besides painstakingly picking out the spine and pin bones, I've come to conclude that fresh is definitely better than frozen.

Not only did I learn how to batter up a fresh brook trout, I learned that if we ever get lost in the cold, moose-filled wilderness of Maine, thanks to my huntsman of a husband, the Horton's could certainly live off the land.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Happiness

I've been thinking. Thinking about things that make me happy. Thinking about things that help me relax. Thinking about things that fill me up (foods and non-foods included). So, I've compiled a list. Kind of. The list is scattered in my mind at the moment. Some things may come up as I write. Thoughts scattered. List in no particular order. Sentence fragments allowed...just this once.

1. Newest addiction.

Cinnamon Life has been my go-to cereal for some time now, but when I saw the big box of Life Maple & Brown Sugar on sale at Wal-Mart I had to give it a try. Boy-oh-boy, pancakes in cereal form. Sound good? Well, it is. I'm constantly grabbing at handful and just eating it dry. I can't get enough of this stuff; therefore, it makes me oh-so-very happy.

2. The smell of rain on a warm day. I could just lay on the asphalt and sniff it for hours after a spring shower. I haven't personally done this yet, but if I could find a road where I know no one would see me or run over me, I would be all over this.

3. Snuggling on the couch with hubs and Walter after an exhausting day at work...or just anytime.

I love these guys.

4. Going to the new laundromat.

The laundromat I've been going to moved to a new location, and it was such a pleasurable experience...well, as pleasurable as a laundromat can be. It's super close to the apartment. It smells fresh and new. The machines are bigger and better, which means it takes fewer quarters to clean and dry. I felt safe the entire time. They have complimentary coffee and T.V.s.
You have no idea how happy my trip to the laundromat made me today. It's the small things, y'all.

5. Finding great deals.

I went to Goodwill yesterday and bought a few outfits and a large bulletin board that's in great shape all for the price of one pair of jeans or a meal for two at Olive Garden or a movie date including popcorn. It's good deal, folks. I'm planning on re-vamping the board, so check back later for the before and after. (Give me a few weeks. I tend to procrastinate.)

6. The fact that we just found a place in Greenville for when we move back in July!

We are enjoying our time in Maine, but we're anxiously counting down the days until we get back down south. We miss our family, friends, Chick-Fil-A, sweet tea, and the southern way of life. I never thought much of this laid-back, slow-paced, friendly, southern drawl way of life until I moved away. Then I realized it's the only life for me. Patrick and I love Greenville, and we're extremely excited to settle down there for a while.

View from a hike near Greenville.

7. Skyping with my sister.

She's my greatest friend, and talking to her makes me feel at home.

8. And what fills me up the most tonight is thinking about my awesome mom. I wish I could zap myself home to spend Mother's Day with her and the rest of my family tomorrow, but it doesn't look like that's going to be a possibility this year. She's such a kind-hearted, incredibly funny woman. Y'all should meet her sometime. :)

I love you Mom!
Okay, I guess that should do it for now. But come to think of it, compiling a list of what makes me happy makes me happy, so consider the closing number nine.

Until next time.



A Special Visitor

First of all, I want to apologize for my hiatus. With Grandad being in town and the beautiful weather we've been having, it's hard to sit inside for too long. The long, cold, snowy winter has made me appreciate sunshine, flowers, and warm afternoons more than ever. Maine was beautiful when it was covered in snow, but the vivid blooms and bright green grass beats the snow on any day.


Last weekend trumped all the beautiful days by far. It was partly to due to our company. Grandad flew up from TN all by himself. That's quite a trek for a 80-something year old, but he's no typical 80-something year old. He's the most active, hippest, fun granddad around.

I'm pretty sure the snow never truly goes away in Maine.

The majority of the weekend was spent in Bar Harbor and Acadia. The summer season is just beginning in Maine, which means stores and restaurants are actually opening and crowds of people are filling the streets and highways.

We acted like typical tourists by stopping at all of the souvenir shops, taking tours, and photographing everything in sight. For all of my TN friends wanting to know what Bar Harbor is like, Patrick described it perfectly. Picture a nautical Gatlinburg. Though I love a good trip to Dollywood and occasionally walking the Gatlinburg strip, it doesn't hold a candle to the views you get at Bar Harbor.

Lobster ice cream anyone? Yes, they put real, buttered lobster in vanilla ice cream. I know everyone says that you have to eat lobster when you go to Maine, but I don't think this is the way to do it.

Anyways, back to the views.

One of my favorite stops in Acadia is Jordan Pond. It is a massive pond in the middle of the island, and is one of the most serene, tranquil stops in all of Maine.

Maine is also known for its lighthouses. Unfortunately, most of them are not visible by land, and the lighthouse cruise doesn't start until the end of the month. But as luck would have it, a cruise ship was docking in Bar Harbor on Sunday, so the tour company decided to have a special lighthouse cruise just for the ship (and us). Besides getting sea sick halfway through the 3-hour tour, and it being 50 degrees and windy out on the ocean, it was one of the most remarkable sights I've ever seen.

One of the neatest parts of the day was seeing two bald eagles. To see them in their natural habitat trumps Dollywood's eagle exhibit any day.

Once we were coasting back to shore and my head stopped spinning, we spotted this lobster boat. For those of you who don't know, my first name is Stephanie, and though I have an "a" at the end of my name, this was pretty darn close.

Though all of the adventures and sight-seeing was incredibly fun, I would have to say our favorite part was just drinking coffee and talking about life with Grandad. It just doesn't get much better than that.