Shabby Miss Jenn

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Artists and Crafters of Milford House

The single road to Milford House, Route 8, began as a trail that followed ribbons of lakes through the wilderness lands of the native Mi’kmaq. By the mid 1800s, this route connected travelers from the Annapolis Valley to the Atlantic Ocean.
 Settlers arrived on horseback to claim land grants or to work in the numerous lumber mills along the many waterways. Abraham Thomas, moved here from Queens County with his wife Mary, and young son, Adelbert, also known as Del.Their first home was a small cabin which he had built around 1860 which would become the foundation for  a successful inn-keeping business.

 This main route became a scheduled stop for the stage coach and eventually workers traveling to and from the area. Drivers would stop here to change horses and have a meal before heading on their way. With more workers arriving to work in the mills, and limited places for them to stay, the Thomas home began to offer food and lodging. Abraham died in 1875, but his wife and 12 year old son Del continued to run the farm and this growing family business.

 When Del married Annie Dukeshire,the reputation of Milford House as a prime destination for sportsmen and their families began to fully take shape. Together, they were a force to be reckoned with and soon  they put their home and community on the map. In doing so, they made a major impact on the tourism industry in the southwestern region of Nova Scotia.

 The beginning of Milford House as a popular retreat is believed to have its roots in the following story. A storm and blocked roads forced a group of travelers to seek shelter at the Thomas home for a few days. These travelers were avid American sportsmen. They convinced Del Thomas to build a log cabin on the lake behind the house so they might have a place to stay when they returned. Del responded to their request. By 1902, two log cabins were available for guests to use. However, until the 1920s, most stayed in the “Big House.”
This Victorian-style country farmhouse underwent at least four enlargements, eventually boasting eight bedrooms for the Thomas family and guests. It was often called the “Halfway House” or the Thomas Hotel before ultimately becoming known as the Milford House in the early 1900s. Most of the lakeside cabins were built from the mid 1920s until the thirties.

 These lakeside cabins became the summer residences for the families of American sportsmen who headed out to the woods and lakes for ten days or more at a time.These early sportsmen and naturalists were Milford’s best promoters. They spread the word on their return to the States, often by submitting articles to various publications. An annual migration of Americans was well established by the 1920s and represented the bulk of guests to Milford House until the 1960s and early 1970s. At this time, more Maritimers were re-discovering what was right on their doorstep. The popularity of Milford House has only grown ten-fold to the present time.

 The face of management has changed, but the friendliness, hospitality and attention to the simple comforts are still the primary focus. And although there are some modern touches, the spirit and simplicity of this wilderness retreat remains largely unchanged.

 Early this summer season a few local artists and crafters were contacted about having a shop in a building not being used at Milford House. I was lucky enough to be one of those artists contacted.

Lisa Proulx and her incredible photography skills; George Goodin and his ash baskets; and Suzanne Muir with her stain glass creations round out the mix. A little blend of everything for anyone's tastes.
We are doing our best to be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays most afternoons and into the evenings. You can find more details at The Artists and Crafters of Milford House.

Here are some photos!

Many new things are being added all the time. You just never know what you are going to find inside the Artists Cabin on your visit. We'd love to have you stop by and say hello!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Our Little Garden grows....

Reclaiming this old garden space as been time consuming and hard work but this season we are really seeing the results from our (alright 85% his) hard work. We don't spray so a few things are getting nibbled on by critters but we are fine with that. We have lost a cucumber plant so far but nothing else. Some veggies are new this year. Some are ones we grew last year and had to make sure we grew again as we loved them.

Here are some randoms of the garden.....

A Discovery in the Garden

We planted many different things in our garden this season. The things that grew well last year and we enjoyed plus a number of new things to try out. One of the new items wasn't for us to harvest and enjoy. We get to reap the benefits from it though. This season we looked around a few places and finally found catnip seeds to plant. Tigger kitty loves it. He doesn't get human food for treats. He gets catnip sessions.
He will roll around and talk to it. I love to watch his actions.

While out last evening tending to some garden chores, Tig came strolling up thru the tall grass growing on the far side of the garden. He'd been over to where Andy was chopping up some campfire wood. He loves when we are outside and comes to hang out with us. He flopped around on the rows of veggies and got told to move on. Andy had come up to the garden as I'd asked him to come see how far I'd come along with the shoveling. I'm leaning on the shovel and talking to Andy when we see Tig start to walk along the border of the garden. He's heading to the raspberry patch where he likes to snooze. As he walks past the black container between the fruit trees...... he stops.

Tigger begins to sniff the air. Andy and I are already beginning to laugh.
He moves closer to the edge of the container and inhales.
He jumped right up into the container and began rolling around. He was biting and ripping the catnip plants.
It was like he was out of his mind! haha
I raced to the house to grab my camera. He was  out of the catnip by then and this is what it looked like.

Ripped, chewed on and furry! haha  Then from the raspberries, he came walking back over and proceeded to jump back into the container. He was purring sooooooo loud and talking the whole time. Making that little chirple sound in his throat that a cat can make.

He was really getting into it by this time. There were piece of catnip torn and tossed all over the place. He couldn't even keep both eyes open at the same time. I was laughing so hard. Walked closer and tried to shoo him from the container and he actually flipped over and growled at me. Hey fella, I don't mind ya getting high but there will be no attitude given to me with the joyride.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Days without Sunshine

We seem to be having one of the rainiest seasons that I can recall to memory. As someone who suffers from depression, this can only be handled for so long before I feel my world is about to collapse on top of me and I'm never going to escape my darkness.

My body aches from head to toe. I feel clammy and tired. You can't get the sleep your body needs and craves when the bedsheets feel like you could wring them out and fill a bucket. My mind races a million miles a second and at the same time somehow feels like a slug could win a race against it.

I cry at the drop of a hat. I fight with my thoughts. I snap at everyone around me.
I need sunshine. I am literally a totally different person without it.

Today.......after days of rain(weeks almost!), we finally saw the grey skies begin to clear and I saw hope. My darkness peeled away from me as if it was onion skin. I caught myself smiling. We made plans to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

We headed over to the edge of our woods for a quick little fire to burn some dead branches that he had trimmed from a few trees. Figured we would take advantage of this little fire and cook our supper there too.

We had some company stop by earlier in the day and they brought a bottle of wine to us. I figured seeing the sun shine again was a good reason to crack it open. I'm not usually a big wine drinker but this was really wonderful and I caught myself a few times wishing we'd had another bottle to open.

We have numerous wine glasses but when outside I just love using these ones. They are made from real mason jars so you just screw a lid on the jar and it keeps all the critters from falling into your drink.
I think we might have to invest in a few of their margarita glasses next. haha

When we seem to spend any amount of time outside, Tigger Kitty likes to be with us so of course he'd followed me across the field when I walked. He walks all around and checks the place out, talking to you the whole time. He really does make me laugh.

Then he was like "ok you lush, I've had enough of you and your tipsy camera clicking" and walked away.
Such attitude from someone who sheds half his fur around my whole house daily without being scolded.

Could he look any more bored with me? Wouldn't even make eye contact with me for this photo no matter how many of those silly kitty attention noises I attempted to make between sips of my wine.

So I poured the last of the wine into my glass, took a big gulp and headed deeper into the woods to see what I could capture with my lens.

Then I saw this piece of wood that had rotted from the inside out and had to try and take a photo of it.As I was getting to the ground to take this angle, I was secretly praying a sleeping mouse would be inside. Also that once down on the ground, that I would be able to stand back up without too much hassle. haha  I'm a very cheap drunk as just those few glasses of wine were beginning to make me tipsy.

Further down the path I stopped and took a few more photos. He had been taking out all the ferns so was difficult to find one to take a picture of.
and there is something that stops me in my tracks about a birch tree. I have beyond enough photos of peeling bark but I never fail to snap at least a dozen more.

By this time, my tummy had started to growl so headed back to shift around the coals and set the grate up for some grilling. We had already inhaled the salad I'd made with the first cutting from our garden of the mesclun mix we'd grown. A few tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh grated Parmesan drizzled with chive vinegar and olive oil added to the mix. The bottom of the dirty bowl didn't seem like anything I needed to take a photo of. haha

The pork chops cooked quickly and perfectly on our little grill. I even remembered to pack some fresh pepper that he sprinkled them with and the Worcestershire sauce. They were eaten up in record time.
(and I will admit that I made sure he got the one that he dropped into the fire when flipping them)

We then headed back up to the farmhouse to relax the rest of the evening away.
These next photos were taken walking back thru our field.