Merriman Farm

Merriman Farm
8.75 Acres + House and Barn

Davis Road, Harpswell, Maine

Davis Road, Harpswell, Maine
Summers on Harpswell Sound

Kell, Jon and Chris

Kell, Jon and Chris
The Kids

Perfect Touch

Perfect Touch
Merriman Quilt

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Nan and Bobby at Cook's

Nan and Bobby at Cook's
Christmas - 2011

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The nose pickers have done it again.

I made the mistake of signing up for Google+ and now I have to run around the barn at leat four times, get on the treadmill and whistle Dixie before I can get into my blog.

Of course, I am really pissed off now so don't know how chipper I can be at 8:00 AM.

Cloe, the Siamese cat, is still with us.  She is awfully thin and is not eating much.  However, she's up in the big bay window in the kitchen looking at the birds and drinking some water. 

We have a bird beeder outside the window and it's wonderful watching the sparrows and cardinals.  Bobby calls the pigeons "flying rats".  A little sparrow froze on the ground the other day.  Wicked sad. 

Bobby has a doctor's appointment for a heart ultra-sound today.  It's a good thing we're retired as we seem to spent a lot of time with different doctor's appointments.

This is the last day of January and Amen to that.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good to Go

Passed the Colonoscopy test yesterday. What a crappy test. Sure hope that's it for another few years.

I minded it more than the test I had nine years ago so they konked me out. Must be my age plus I was much thinner nine years ago.

Thought I get my little Singer Featherweight out today and tackle some hemming jobs I've been putting off.

The back living room at the farm is ideal for projects and has a TV and stereo in there to keep me company.

The snow has turned to freezing rain so I think we'll be staying home today. Bobby's going to the store for coffee, that's as far as we go. They have their gab session with all the guys.

Guess I'll think about what to have for breakfast. After yesterday, that's a real treat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Purge Day

Tomorrow is Colonoscopy Day.

The good part of fasting for a day is that I'll lose five pounds. That will certainly give me inspiration.

It's a beautiful morning here at the Merriman Farm. It's been an extremely mild winter and no need to go south. I expect we might get walloped in March or April.

We are planning a big camping weekend for this summer with all the family. It's fun to always have a special event to look forward to.

We are still cleaning the second hand stove we bought from a Craigslist ad. It's more work than we thought, but the cost of a new stove outweighs the work.

February is coming right up and another trip to Concord. I'm a little homesick and can't wait to see my kids and grandkids.

You can take a cruise at an 80% discount. No thanks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cove

It's twenty-seven degrees this morning, a veritable heatwave.

Our neighbors down at the Cove have all gone south for the winter. Bobby is the house checker. He discovered someone's furnace off this morning and the circulators running steady. He got it going again. It was still 46 in the house, but risky if you haven't drained the pipes.

Our latest adventure involved Craigslist. I saw a Jenn-Aire stove that has a gas cooktop and an electric/convection oven. The old Jenn-Aire in the house has seen better days but we didn't want to spend 2500 on a new one.

Anyway, off to Augusta yesterday and we came home with the stove. I just fit in the Outback so we didn't take the truck.

I have been cleaning the grates and so on since 3:00 PM yesterday afternoon. I have never seen so much grease in my life, but it will be clean when we have the gas man come.

We have lost power four times and it would be nice to be able to cook something and make coffee on the gas stove. I saved an old drip coffee pot from the Merrimans and I imagine it works just fine.

Bobby is off to his morning coffee meeting with the guys.

I'll tackle the grill part of the stove this morning. For those of you who wouldn't attempt a cleaning job as bad as this - the only thing that works is a window scraper. Just keep digging and the grease will come off.

Three days till the Colonoscopy. Sure will be glad to have that behind me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunny Winter Morning

Life at the farm is soothing and relaxing. I don't feel the sress I used to feel when I was working. I don't miss those years. I guess that's one of the benefits of growing older.

Yesterday we went to town and had fun buying gifts for the grandkids. We had a nice lunch at the Topsham Fair Restaurant.

We made chili when we got home. I made a mistake and bought ground pork instead of ground turkey which I have been using instead of hamburg. I couldn't figure out what "that taste" was as I kept sampling the chili and adding more chili powder.

I would suggest using the ground turkey as it blends better and is a healthier choice that the beef.

We got the new "old truck" registered and only had to put a muffler on it to get it inspected. It will come in handy this spring when Kelley and Jeff start their new house. We can't do a lot of heavy work, but we can be goffers.

The sun is streaming in every window here at the old farm house as it has for many years. Bobby showed me a paper where two of the early Merrimans are buried. I hope they're happy that we're taking good care of the farm.

The graves are down over the hill by the spring.

Walter Merriman - son of Walter Merriman Sr.
Born March 8th, 1766
Died August 15, 1855 Age 88 years

Isabel Alexander Merriman
Born October 10, 1774
Died November 11, 1829 Age 55 years

Bobby repaired the stones last spring. They had broken into three pieces. I guess the cows were always breaking them and then heavy wind blew them over.

I look forward to spring when we can inspect the gravestones and maybe plant some flowers and spiff the area up a bit.

If these walls could talk.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Morning Snow at the Farm

It's snowwing pretty heavy outside and I don't mind it as much as the bitter cold.

Today we'll go to town and regiser the truck. It's inspected and ready to go. Only cost Bobby a muffler so he's glad it wasn't anything else.

I am a little squirrely after being home for a couple of days. We were supposed to go to a hockey game in Brunswick at the college tonight, but probably won't go because of the snow. We don't normally drive at night and definitely not in bad weather.

There was an article in the Sunday paper about a quilt shop in Lewiston. I'll have to check it out with the hopes that it will inspire me.

Time for the first cup of coffee.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Toyota Work Truck

Today isn't quite as cold as yesterday. The sunrise was beautiful as always and never disappoints.

Bobby, neighbor Al and I went to South Portland yesterday to look at a second hand truck. It's a guy thing.

Bobby ended up buying a 2000 Toyota Tundra for a great price. It needs a little work on the body, but it runs just fine and will be handy for yard work, trips to the dump and moving stuff. We're glad we had Al with us as it saved us an extra trip to Portland.

We grabbed the rest of the seafood casserole, a salad and rice and went to Al and Marilyn's for supper and cards. There's nothing like having a friend from my hometown. It's so familiar and feels like home. I've never played Queens before but it was lots of fun.

I downloaded the latest Google Earth this morning and find it amazing. The next thing will be peeking into windows.

Since it's January and not much to do, I guess I should think about starting my project upstairs redoing the bedroom. The wheels are clicking. There's lots of stuff to go through and get rid of.

When the weather's good we'll hop down to Concord for a few days to see the kids and the grandkids.

It's been a great winter so far and no reason to go to Florida. Some days were warmer here than in the south.

I'm making a to-do list. Focus Nan, focus!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maine Seafood Casserole

This morning it's zero degrees. Needless to say - the dog didn't linger outside.

Bobby and I are having our first cup of coffee and checking our emails on this chilly morning. The pellet stove in the living room is keeping the temperature at 72 degrees.

I can see the birds at the bird feeder outside the bay window in the kitchen. You wonder how they survive in this cold weather. Bobby takes the left over cat food outside and feeds the birds. I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but they wait every morning for their treat of the day.

Yesterday we went to the seafood store in Bath. We bought haddock (flash frozen on the boat) - five pounds for twenty dollars. We also purchased two swordfish steaks, a package of rock crab claw meat and a pound of Maine shrimp to the tune of fifty bucks.

We had purchased local fresh scallops the day before from Ray's Vegetable Corner here in Harpswell. We had a few for supper Friday night and they were yummy.

Bobby made Seafood Casserole yesterday for dinner. Here's the recipe.

1/2 pound of haddock
1/2 pound of scallops
1 pound of rock crab claw meat
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream - we used half and half and canned milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teas. salt
Pepper - the recipe called for Cayenne pepper, but we didn't use it
Panco crumbs
Crushed up saltines
Melted butter on top
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Parboil haddock and scallops in a small amount of water for 6 to 8 minutes; allow fish to set in cooking liquid for 20 minutes after it is cooked. Cut fish into bit size pieces. Prepare a white sauce with butter, flour, salt, pepper, cream and milk. Use part of the liquid in which fish was parboiled with part of the milk for milk measurement. When sauce is thickened and smooth, add cooked fish; spoon into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with buttered crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., for 45 to 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

I have never tasted anything so delicious. I felt like a queen and would recommend this if you are having company for dinner. We have plenty left over for another feast today and for our neighbor down the road.

It's a good day to laze around the house and graze.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Merriman Sea Captains

The attic is a marvel of history. Most of the valuable antiques have been sold, but there are papers that reveal a little bit about life in the mid-eighteenth century.

I found a little leather book that one of the Merriman sea captains must have used to record the produce they bought and sold on their many trips to other ports. The first date that appears says Portland, November 11th, 1861 and appears to be a delivery to a Boy's School.

There are two quite good pencil sketches on the inside cover of the book. They are side views of a man and of a lady - probaby the captain's wife. Maybe I can copy them to a larger sketch for framing.

There are other entries dated New York, August 26th, 1862. They mention the delivery of molasses and other goods. More to follow as I investigate the attic.

Today is a nice wintry day and we'll go to town for groceries. I have been stuck in the house for a few days and will be glad to get out.

The water looks so cold from the windows of this old house. Makes you glad you are warm and cozy next to the pellet stove.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mulligan Stew

It's been the kind of day to stay home and cook. The heavy wet snow kept us from going to town.

We decided to make Mulligan Stew. We threw everything in a big pot in anticipation of the power going out.

I had fresh carrots, so I started cooking with just enough water to cover.

We thawed and browned some beef that looked a little chewy and cut that up small. Add the beef.

We only had sweet potatoes, so we used canned white potatoes. (if that's the Canadian spelling - no comments from the peanut gallery).

We had frozen peas and frozen turnip so we added those. Then we threw in some canned stewed tomatoes, and regular tomatoes. We decided a can of mushrooms was just the ticket.

For spicies, Bobby threw in Knorr vegetable bouillon, Worcestshire sauce, salt and pepper, Kikokthman sauce and the last of some ginger salad dressing from the frig.

I threw in the leftover bacon from breakfast for good measure.

It was really good with some rolls we found in the freezer and baked in the oven.

We sent brother-in-law Bill home with some kick-ass Mulligan Stew for he and Tracy.

It's 6:00 PM and we haven't lost power yet.

However, the wind is blowing like crazy, so anything can happen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Falling in Love at 72

I guess the one word that sums it up is "Joy".

I decided to write an article called "Internet Dating in your Seventies". It was published in the Concord Monitor on August 21, 2011. It was the result of researching three sites, eHarmony, Senior People Meet and

In the process of my research I wrote a short note to a nice looking guy from Maine. I kind of forgot about it as I had dropped the subscriptions to the dating sites since my article was published.

I kind of enjoyed getting the emails, so I decided to join for another month. I heard from the guy in Maine who had just joined.

The rest is history. We alternate between his beautiful farm on the coast of Maine and Concord, NH where my apartment is.

My son, daughter-in-law and grandkids came to visit us this week at my apartment in Concord. It was so good to see them and I can't believe how big they have gotten in the time I haven't seen them.

Now that the New Year is here, I have lots of goals. Eat healthier, more exercise - you know the drill. Bobby and I having a wonderful time and are looking forward to having my children and grandchildren visit this summer and going clamming down at the cove.

We wish everyone a healthy happy New Year.