September 23, 2013

State of La Dolce Duchessa... plus Maine 2, Bat Wrangling and Removal and I Love Drive Through Pre School Drop Off

Our baby girl attempting an obstacle course
Dear friends, thank you for your patience, I am so sorry to have neglected you!  It all started with a cold...  It was my 3 year old son's last day of summer camp, a camp that I LOVED because all I had to do to drop him off was put my car in park, and an adorable 'counselor,' which was an energetic young woman- these boys have no idea how good they have it, lovely young ladies paying them undivided attention- whisked him out of his car seat and I simply put my car in drive and came back a few hours later to repeat the effortless drop off...  I have since formulated opinions on local pre-schools based on whether or not they will take my child out of the car or not...  That was Friday, August 9th.  All seemed well.  On Saturday, August 10th, we packed up the car, with both kidlets and my divine sister / beloved Aunt, (Daddy had to stay home and work a few more days) and hit the road to Maine.  Sort of- we were making a stop on the way to attend the wedding of a dear friend- you may remember her as our Ariel from the Disney Princess Half Marathon (I just almost called it the Disney Half Princess Marathon- no no, they are full princesses).  Her wedding was on Sunday- it was lovely and she was radiant, beautiful and gracious, and perhaps had one of my favorite wedding meals ever- eggs benedict, because it was a brunch after the ceremony- seriously, brides to be, everyone loves brunch- a little champagne, a little eggs benedict.  That Saturday night before the wedding, the coughing, the sneezing, and the general little sickly sounds are undeniable from my son's little fold out bed in the hotel.  No one wants to be sick on vacation, poor thing.  Well- he bounced back fairly quickly, but not before 'sharing.'  Must work on kids understanding that not all sharing is good.

At the Union Fair
Flash forward, after the wedding we drive the rest of the way to Maine- where my parents have already arrived at the charming house we've rented for the past several years.  Lovely reunion- and details on a potential bat infestation!!  Apparently, a few nights prior, a nocturnal visitor discreetly entered and attached himself to a closet door in the upstairs living room.  A 'critter control' expert was called.  My mother, being both highly intelligent and highly realistic, has the forethought to ask said 'critter control' expert, 'what do I do if it comes back and I can't reach you?' Because, of course, the bat was shy in front of company.  Apparently, here's what you do- you get one of those sticky traps, like for mice and rats, and you peel off the film, revealing the sticky side, stick it to a broom handle, and then 'stick' it to the bat.  Remove bat from your house, and then outside, with some ability for the bat to drop a few feet to be able to fly again, spray it with Pam.  Yes, you read that right, spray the bat with Pam.  (This raises questions, doesn't it- is generic cooking spray an acceptable alternative, what about olive oil cooking spray, etc.)  So- we were now armed with this knowledge.

Anyhow, I became sick on Monday afternoon, and we are talking about one of those terrible, terrible colds, where you forget what it feels like to be well.  You keep taking decongestant, pain killer, and try to sleep as much as possible, and you still feel like you were hit by a truck.  Basically, it's so bad that while grocery shopping I have an urge to lie down on the floor and rest.  By this time, the 3 year old boy is fine and firing on all cylinders, and the baby girl is sniffly, but not really badly off at all- maybe Wednesday, my sister gets the cold, poor, poor thing.

Bat Removal 101, Bat on Sticky Trap, Pre-Spray
Thursday, in the morning, I'm walking through the upstairs living room, on the mission of retrieving a sweater for my son, and I notice a bat attached to the closet door as I walk by.  At first, my mind just seems to say to itself, 'there's a bat attached to that closet door.'  Then it says, 'THERE'S A BAT ATTACHED TO THAT CLOSET DOOR!!!!'  At which point I apparently started running, and I still have no idea what I ran into and fell over, and I've got two big gashes on my legs.  I run downstairs to let everyone know the bat is back!  The doors on either side of the upstairs living room are closed, my Dad is tasked with the bat removal, which is carried out seamlessly.  The bat is shown to my son outside (fascinating!  Let's name it 'tricky') on the sticky board before the application of Pam cooking spray...  Apparently June is when most bats are born, and then in July they are 'bat teenagers' and they go cruising for places to hang out.  If you do find a bat in your home, be kind, they eat bugs.  Try to remove them humanely and set them free.  PS, they really don't want to fly into your hair.

Ok- so that's been covered, the zombie like malaise of the sickness- which then days later struck my Mom, poor thing.  So, while we weren't anywhere near our full strength, we still enjoyed our annual pilgrimage to Camden, Maine.  Here were some of our favorite stops:

In Wiscasset
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine  This shop is a must for anyone creatively inclined- they have a truly outstanding fabric selection (for babies, children and women), and their patterns and books are incredibly well selected.  Think vintage, classic, and whimsical.  I picked up a book on french knot embroidery that was incredible and makes me want to embroider everything I own with lavender plants made of french knots...

Chez Michel Restaurant, Lincolnville, Maine  This is probably my favorite restaurant up there- and has been for a long time.  I have five words for you: lobster stew, rabbit pate and duck.  That's was I order every time- and my baby girl, who's a very good eater, ate the fried haddock, rabbit pate, lobster from the stew and some duck, too.  Baby approved.  Their lobster stew isn't like the other New England fare- these recipes are French and the lobster stew has a lot of white wine and it's one of the most delicious bowls of food in the world.  Truly!

Rockland Antiques Marketplace  This is a find.  And the prices are good- very good.  I got a lovely silverplate covered vegetable dish for $18 and a vintage stainless cocktail pitcher (for my mixologist husband) for $18.  We also went to the Searsport Antiques Market, and surprisingly, since it's further up the coast and more remote, its prices weren't as good.  Still an interesting selection, though.

If you do find some lovely silver pieces, check out our post on creating your own storage using silver cloth.La Dolce Duchessa Silver Storage

We'll be back soon with lots of terrific recipes and home ideas!  Brace yourself for some insane weeknight potatoes, mustard crusted chicken and other adventures!

Thank you for reading.

Kind regards,

Jessica at La Dolce Duchessa