Maine

Huckleberry Hideaway for Lovers of the Light

One of my most favorite things to experience at Light Heart is time alone on retreat at the Huckleberry in the Spring. I start the day in the hot tub— no jets. It’s about the pleasant contrast of being submerged chin deep in warm water and cool, crisp air on the face. Distant hills beyond Taunton Bay glow with the sun rise, mist rises up in the valleys.

So still, so quiet.

It’s hard to leave, but I do love my cup of morning tea which I sip from my stool, watching the sun’s progress as I journal.

To have nowhere to go, nothing to do, is there anything better? There’s not a single place I’d rather be before Summer’s bugle plays Reveille, than at the Huckleberry Hideaway, reveling in the Light.

Revel in the Light, Shine the Light, Be the Light!

Spring’s blessings to you from Joanna

 

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful!
We almost want to say bad things to try to keep a secret but the positive energy must be shared… Perfect mountain cottage that feels like a home. Has everything you need for a perfect get-away. Cozy fireplace with plenty of wood. Towels, full kitchen, soft sheets. Watch amazing sunsets from the balcony. Watch the sunrise on the trees while still in bed. Walking trails just outside the door and Acadia not too far away. Too many amazing features to describe! Joanna is the perfect host– shows you what you need then let’s you have your space. We will be back again. ~  Cinnamon B., September 23, 2016

 

Morning’s Glory at Light Heart Retreat

Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. ~Henry David Thoreau

There are some things you will not find here at Light Heart Retreat, such as dishwashers and broadcast T.V. To tune into NATURE  simply do your dishes and look out the window. There is always something beautiful and exciting to watch on the Light Heart Nature channel. Those are turkeys for you who are new to this mode of dish washing.

After you’ve got the breakfast dishes done, you may want to extend your viewing to include the trails. This is my private way out to Bragdon Quarry. The dew will find you, too, at your cottage. That’s one lone asparagus plant beaming the light of dawn. Oh…just like me 🙂

I love the early morning light as the dawn trickles through the leaves of maple, oak, birch, popular, spruce and balsam, spills over the moss strewn boulders–playing off the shadows. Hmmm…yes, just like me:)

The sun takes a dive into the cool, still quarry water and sends splashes of sunlight back to the source. Me too, but I make a lot of ripples.

Many guests look forward to sitting in the mediation hut safe from bugs. I lean my butt up against a natural granite bench on the ledge and crouch like a Bedouin in her tent. I tell the insects,  I am the chief steward here and this is a no fly zone. The birds are most welcome to come and chat me up. And they do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always keep an eye out for eagles. They often leave a gift. Most often I find the curved little heart feathers that have been preened loose from the breast while they’re roosting in the big pines around the quarry. (Please don’t write me and tell me it’s illegal to have an eagle feather…I know, I know, I know.)

This canoe was made possible by The Home Angels, from the profit we made on a local renovation. Seeing the boy out shooting hoops in front of his home, that’s a big payoff too.

It’s a different quarry when you’re viewing it from the seat of a canoe, or if your agile, the sky is a different sky, looking up from the bottom of the canoe. So I’ve heard.

Please enter slowly into this circle, it’s sacred. Pause at the entrance , breathe a few deep breaths with eyes closed and center yourself. Ask the ancestors for permission to enter. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your prayers answered and to receive healing here.

In the morning stand beyond the Holi Stone and send your prayers through the circle to Sun in the East. In the evening, send your intentions and gratitude through the Holi Stone facing West to Sun.

FYI we are our own ancestors– the ones we’ve been waiting for to save us all. The Cosmic Creator has a great sense of fun and humor. Thank God for that! 🙂

Newbies to this site may like a peak at the Huckleberry Honeymoon Hideaway. From the balcony you can look over into the stone circle and west across Taunton Bay to watch the sunset from the comfort of your cottage  The poor folk staying at  the Blackberry Cottage will have to hike the length of a football field to the big granite bench that rests beyond the Holi stone. The bench is nice and warm from the suns rays and you may get to see a porcupine coming out of the granite rip rap condo’s for the night. They are pretty cute. Steer clear of mothers with babies especially though…give them a wide berth.

Oh dear, I was speaking about the sunset and I wasn’t done with the dawn’s light theme yet. The little white lilies open in the morning sun shining forth their love and gratitude for the wonderful guests at the Blackberry Cottage who bring their coffee and bread out to the settee and oooh and ahhh and do a lot of sighing in the warmth of the sun. They have a front row seat for sunrise over the quarries.  The Blackberry Cottage has its perks, for sure.

Tah-Dah! Here’s the humble, cute-as-a button Blackberry Cottage who doesn’t mind taking a back seat to neighboring cottage with the big deal hot tub. There are many sightings of deer and porcupines, and of course turkeys, through the window over the kitchen sink that overlooks the back lawn. There’s also been a 5 AM moose sighting. You know what they say, The early bird gets the moose.

Well dear friends, the sun is getting high in the sky and my tumbly is rumbly. Thank you for keeping me company on my morning stroll to some of my favorite places at Light Heart Retreat. The pictures don’t come close to the real thing you know, but don’t take my word for it. Come and experience the magic of Light Heart Retreat for yourself.

The Dawn’s Light in me Greets the Dawn’s Light in you! Namaste`~

Joanna Pinney Buell

Looking for More out of Life…

Words cannot describe the feeling you have when you arrive here. My girlfriend and I were searching for the escape from our New York City lifestyles and definitely found it here. We arrived in the pitch of midnight (long day driving) and fell asleep to the sound of frogs and nothing else. Upon awaking we were greeted with the sunrise over the quarry and the beauty of this retreat. It is a magical place. When Joanna gave us the orientation a bald eagle crossed our views. A delightful omen. Joanna is a wonderful person and somebody who you can easily get along with. Very accommodating, and respectful; to you, to her property, to mother nature. Our first day, we had planned to go to Acadia, but were so enamored with the property, that we just hung out there! She has 100 acres to explore, canoe, swim and meditate. It is so wonderful. Although it is on a dirt road, it is not totally removed from civilization. Ellsworth is only 20 minutes away and has your typical American chain stores. The Hannaford is very good (good meat and salad selections). Bar Harbor is about 45 minutes to an hour, but everywhere you drive in that section of the planet is a treat. This place inspired me so much and I hope one day to return. We stayed in the blackberry cottage which is ample for a couple. It is small, yes, but we never felt cramped. We also toured Huckleberry Hideaway which was absolutely breathtaking, full of light, and inspiration. The place is magical. Off the beaten path, very reasonable, and probably better than most places you will find on mount desert island (If you are into nature, roughing it a little, and looking for more out of life). ~ John C., June 2016

Click here to visit the Light Heart Retreat site

 

Just Ask

David had a license plate on his truck that said Just Ask.

What is it that you’ve been wanting and have been so wrapped up in the wanting, that you forgot that perhaps, all you have to do is ask?

Before winter had even shed its first snow flake, I was asking for and having faith in a shorter, milder winter. As each storm approached I asked that if it wouldn’t upset the apple cart too much, could the storm please go out to sea. We had two storms that produced enough white crystal medicine to ski or snowshoe on– fair enough. It’s been wonderful to walk the trails of Light Heart Retreat in hiking boots. There was never a time when the trails were not accessible.

I know I am not the only one in New England to have taken the stance that nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I might as well Just Ask. It doesn’t look  like the photo above here yet…However we are well on our way to an early Spring or at the very least, a timely Spring arrival.

Water Fairies and 2 Orbs 3/04/2016

Orbs and water fairies dancing at Light Heart Retreat enjoying an early ice out on the morning of March 3, 2016.

When we ask for something, it is good to remember that just because we haven’t received it yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not already on its way to us.

Many of you have asked me for recipes. I don’t just follow a recipe, it’s always evolving. Some recipes, like soups and salsa, I have in the recipe box inside my head. Others are in the old Apple Works program and I’m unable to access them. ( I hope this doesn’t happen to the aforementioned recipe box.)  Then there are those recipes that no one has been able to reproduce. And yes, I do have a proprietary feeling for these and some others.

So there! You see? There is a Cooking Deva and she is listening. If only she weren’t the Cleaning Deva, Bookkeeping Deva, Laundry Deva, Lawn Mowing Deva, Gardening Deva, Reservation Deva, All Purpose Deva– then perhaps, just maybe or maybe not, you would have received a recipe. So here is a recipe for you for pumpkin bread below. If it’s not the one you asked me for, please let me know and I may put your requested recipe on the docket for another blog post.

I can highly attest to taking a retreat at the Huckleberry Hideaway this time of year. The light is beautiful. It’s warm in the sun. It’s a good time to work on a project that you’d hoped to have completed by now. It’s a great time walk the trails here or at Acadia National Park, see a movie at Reel Pizza, visit Jasper Beach. Spring is coming early this year and you’ll soon be mowing the lawn and a whole lot of other things. You could prime your pump for all the upcoming doing, doing, doing, with a gently paced and well fed stay here at the Huckleberry Hideaway at Light Heart.

If you don’t, I will. And when I hear the Barred owls calling Whooo cooooks for you? to their potential mate, I’ll answer,  I doooo! 

Blessings for an early Spring and Shine your Light!

Joanna

 

BarredOwl@Huck

Chunky Pumpky Bread from the Light Heart Retreat Kitchen

You can use any cooked, orange-fleshed, winter squash with this recipe. When using your own squash or pumpkin, decrease water to 1/3 cup.

Beat together in medium-sized bowl:
4 eggs
2/3 cup water (or milk or buttermilk make it more cake-like)
1 cup light olive oil or melted butter
2 cups or a 16 oz. can pumpkin

Sift together and stir in a large bowl as this is the bowl you’ll be finishing in:
3 1/3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
3 cups organic sugar (not too coarse)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (decrease this if your don’t love nutmeg)
pinch of cloves
Optional: 2 cups chocolate chips, 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts,
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill flaked coconut. These are my favorite additions
for Chunky Pumpky. For a more traditional bread add 2 cups of raisins. I also do a blueberry/coconut version. 2 cups blueberries (thaw first on paper towel if frozen) and 1 cup coconut.

Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet mixture to this. Stir to mix and then stir in the optional ingredients of your choice. Grease and flour 3 large bread tins or 4 smaller ones. The baking time varies according to the size of the pan and optional ingredients. Use a tooth pick to test. The larger size will take an hour plus. The smaller pans start checking at 50 minutes or less. If you’ve got a good sniffer you’ll smell this when it’s done.

Additionally your mouth may begin to water and kids will start bugging you about it’s readiness.

Clackers & zuke bread

Grandsons Kyle and Colby enjoying some Zuke bread after a dowsing lesson.

If you’re bread isn’t done, but is already brown on top, place a piece of tin foil loosely over the top and continue baking until a tooth pick comes out clean. This bread freezes wonderfully.

I like this bread best, not when it’s hot, but when each flavor has had a chance to stake it’s claim after a couple of days. That would be loaf #2 or #3 as loaf one will be long gone. ENJOY!

Trout Fishing in the Light Heart

It’s a big treat for David and myself to go into Bar Harbor after a busy day’s work at Light Heart Retreat and see a quality movie at Reel Pizza. We recently saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen about a Sheik with a love of fishing who has a dream of introducing salmon fishing into his country but, it’s not about the fish…

We enjoyed a refillable bowl of buttered popcorn– real butter and we topped it off with nutritional yeast that Reel Pizza provides. David stretched out his 6 foot 6 inch body in the roomy aisle with the popcorn resting on the counter in front of us. Others were seated up front on living room furniture eating pizza or nachos, some drinking wine and beer. This is how we go to the movies in Downeast Maine!

Fishing in the Light Heart. This past Saturday we stocked Rainbow Trout in our large quarry for catch and release fishing for our guests and our own quiet enjoyment of seeing them rise. An added benefit of having fish in the quarry is seeing the birds that come to fish for them: Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Osprey and the little bird with the big head, the Kingfisher.

Our grandsons, Kyle and Colby love to fish. They’re like two little old men out in the canoe, all quiet and contemplating their lines in the water until they catch a fish.Then they’re all excited about it, no matter what it is, and no matter the size. After the fish is released they’re still again.

Grandson Kyle on recent trip with his Great Grandfather, Dickie, on Lake Ontario.

Kids don’t need a pill to help them concentrate and experience calm…They need to be in nature.

When you’re out on the quarry in a canoe, fishing or not, you’re taking in all the shades of green and blue, of sky and water.  The bull frog chug-a-rums and the green frogs answers with short croaks and a long twang. The little tree frogs trill from their hiding places blending in with the granite and tree bark. The sun and breeze feel wonderful on your face. Time stands still.

While I was typing this out I received an email from my father, outdoor sportswriter, Dick Pinney, with this photo. Do you know what kind of fish this is? It reminded me of the many hours spent out on the water fishing with my Dad and a Landlocked Salmon I caught with him on Alton Bay in New Hampshire. It wasn’t a warm spring or summer day. It was the first fishing of the year and I was wearing a snowmobile suit! I drew a picture of that salmon to size in my sketch book. It was a big sketch book and a small salmon!

For all the fish I’ve caught, it’s not the fish that comes first to mind when I remember fishing with my Dad. I remember what it felt like. And even on that chilly spring day when I caught a salmon,  it felt Good!

We have so much to offer both individuals and families on retreat here. I’ve never written much about fishing on the quarry. It’s not about the fish…

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is the not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Come cast a line out, swim with the fishes or maybe even kiss a fish, and find what your soul has been longing for…the peace and beauty of Light Heart Retreat.

 

Late Spring is All Abloom Downeast and in Acadia

This is a repost from 2011~

As I am writing this on May 18th, our lawn is definitely abloom in dandelions. With this cool, damp spring, we are going to have just about all of our spring flowers and shrubbery blooming at the same time as our leaves unfold. Our spring seems to burst forth, all at once, though for the observant, it unfolds its beauty, a little each day.

Though Spring has arrived a tad late this year, there is one facet of our Downeast spring that has shown up right on time…the black fly.  Native Mainers love them. They keep the year round population down around here. David and I love them too.  The black flies signal gardening time and the arrival of spring warblers, who feed on them.

I’ve had pretty good success convincing black flies and other insects that David and I are their stewards; they should be kind to us. Those times when they are overcome by black fly mass consciousness to consume, we resort to hard core tactics, aka, Hard Core Bug Off. It’s the best natural bug repellent we’ve used and we’ve tried them all. It conditions my hair and skin, too and the scent is agreeable.

Now…why would I tell you about black flies when I want to fill cottages between now and the high season???

I am excrutiatingly honest when people contact us for a reservation here during this period. Most expect it to be summer here on Memorial Day weekend. We will have a few hot days between now and the official start of summer, but more often it’s in the sixties,  with a brisk sea breeze (keeps the bugs away). For those who think that the Bar Harbor area is a quaint northern version of the Jersey shore….I’d rather direct them elsewhere then risk their being unhappy here.

This is a great time to visit Acadia National Park and have the trails to yourself. The ocean side trails are virtually bug-free and the top of Mt. Cadillac is minus the big tour buses of summer. After  hiking in Acadia, you can go downtown to Bar Harbor and not have to wade through three cruise ship’s worth of tourists on the main drag. It’s a lovely place to stroll, shop and dine in or on the deck.  You can take in a  movie at Reel Pizza in the comfort of an easy chair and enjoy their bottomless bowl of popcorn with real butter.

Here at Light Heart Retreat, it’s a magical time of year that we relish, despite the long days working the vegetable gardens, doing landscaping, spring cleaning cottages and …

We love listening to the frog songs through the spring season into summer. It begins with the quack of wood frogs as soon as the ice is off the little quarries. Next, the spring peepers sing well into June. After dark we walk out to Bragdon Quarry to listen to the tree frogs. Their trilling is so loud, you’d think you were in a tropical rainforest.

The green frogs are just getting warmed up here this week. One young guest asked us last summer, “What makes the sound at night that boings like a rubber band?” Then last, but not least comes the competition amongst bull frogs.

The time leading up the Summer Solstice is highly energetic here, especially on the full moon in June. It’s when we’ve taken some of our best photos of colorful orbs, blue-white swooshes and intensified auras around our flowers. It’s wonderful to be out after dark, hearing the frogs, sitting by a campfire or wandering around the gardens and out to the standing stone circle with your camera.

So who would enjoy visiting here over the next 4 week period?

  • Hardcore outdoor fanatics who can’t get enough of Maine no matter what time of year it is.
  • Those who would enjoy being a tourist without the crush of high summer, who would appreciate Light Heart Retreat’s well-appointed cottages and the quiet, natural surrounds to return to after a long day of window shopping.
  • Hikers who want the trails in Acadia all to themselves. You could even do mindfulness meditation on the trails this time of year.
  • Someone who has a creative project that needs to be finished up by working inside. Your only disturbance will be the call of the Hermit Thrush. Need inspiration for your creativity? The Hermit Thrush varies it’s melody slightly each time it sings. Every melody it sings is original.

Light Heart Retreat in the spring isn’t for everybody. For some, it’s downright heaven! A big High Five to you Hardcore Lovers of Maine. Hope to see you soon.

Summer’s Come Early to Light Heart Retreat

The bull frogs are chuga-rumming and the green frogs are ga-dunking. The crows and ravens are busy chasing ospreys away from their nests.The lupine is beginning to flower and the black flies are all but gone. The lawns have been mowed. I’ve been dipping in the quarry and it was warm enough to stay in and swim today–too hot to keep pushing around my little red wheelbarrow for gardening and landscape jobs.

 

cropped-quarry1.jpg

 

 

This description fits mid June and it’s not even Memorial Day yet!Although we didn’t enjoy the warm temperatures the rest of New England experienced in early spring, we also didn’t receive the torrential rains. It’s been a heavenly spring so far and it looks like the blessing is going to continue.

There’s just one thing that we wish was different. We’d like to be sharing this most beautiful time of the year with guests visiting our cottages. We do have family coming for the Memorial Day weekend, but that still leaves the Huckleberry Hideaway and the Blackberry Cottage all dressed up with nowhere to go!

What are you doing this upcoming weekend? Whatever it is, it’s not likely to match the Light Heart Retreat experience. Here’s a couple of our guest book entries, the first from the Blackberry Cottage and the second from the Huckleberry Hideaway:

“Anyone reading these pages already knows that mere words cannot do justice to what is here…

 

How can one really describe serenity? Modern man is too often deprived of the simple wonder of a star filled sky, the rush of the breeze through the trees and the haunting call of the loons. Even a brief return to these gifts reminds us of our place in the huge universe. Thank you Joanna & David for sharing this!”Kathy, PA

“We have been here for a week and Huckleberry has been a true paradise. What a beautiful place you have created for rest, relaxation and recharging.  Light Heart Retreat is so peaceful and welcoming. We barely left during our week’s stay.  The sunset view from Huckleberry is breathtaking. Swimming in the quarry, the sauna, the hot tub–all perfect.  Thanks your for the love and care you clearly put into every detail of this magical place. We are forever grateful and will definitely be back again!”
Jen & John,
NYC

We have a little stimulus package to offer to the readers of the Dowsing Deva posts and to those who came on board early reading the initial posts made at this site.
I’ve already lowered prices this year and eliminated the cleaning fee. Our nightly fee is less than a good hotel room and you get a spotless, cozy cottage, a great resource library, a wood fired sauna, your own fire pit, walking trails and two swimming quarries with the warmest water you’re going to find anywhere in Maine (think granite swimming pool). You get to see the night sky in all it’s glory. I could go on and on, but our guests do that job for us. You can see many more guest book entries at HomeAway.com.

Click here for the Blackberry Cottage and here for the Huckleberry Hideaway. Everything you need to know, is there, except this:

Here’s your special offer: An additional $50 off any three night rental (or longer) between now and June 21st.

If you’re interested in spending the upcoming weekend at Light Heart Retreat, please contact me right away. I’m going to have to get Tall Bunyan to venture into the quarry to sweep last years leaves off from the granite shelf below the sauna so it will be clean as a whistle to set your feet upon when you dive into the water after your sauna.  Usually David would not be partaking of this duty until mid June. (I’m too short for this job and I’ll probably have to bake him a couple of rhubarb pies as his stimulus to enter the quarry water this soon).

We hope to see some of you over the next few weeks and more of you as the season unfolds. You can contact me from the HomeAway sites or use the contact form below. Click on any of the photos to see our web site.

We’re taking next weekend off and invite you to come join us as we let the mind rest in heart at Light Heart Retreat.

Blessings for a spectacular late spring!

Joanna

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