The Shiniest Star(s)

Some of you know that I have been selling vintage items online since the early 2000s. As I was photographing one of two identical copies of the 1950s book The Shiniest Star illustrated by Charlot Byj, Wayne stopped talking to me mid-sentence, came over and said: “Hey! I know that book! I remember reading that when I was little!” His face was completely lit up as he picked up the book and turned the pages. He remembered the gold foil star on the cover, too. I was charmed to see him transform from a man in his 60s to a wide-eyed six year old.

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Vintage Christmas Recipe: British Steamed Pudding

Here is a recipe for an obscure and worthwhile 1905 treat, “Mother Eve’s Pudding” from a British Women’s Cookery Book in my collection. This recipe was submitted by “Miss Orkney from Bervie.” (I found an earlier recipe in poetry form online.) I made this last year and cut the recipe in half, as follows, for a smaller pudding:

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: My Reflections and Conversation with Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of Maine

I’m often asked what gave me the idea to do a tour of Maine’s summer Episcopal chapels. The truth is that it just came to me, the same way the idea for my blog Serene New England did during Easter Sunday while sitting in church at St. Mary’s. I love to explore new-to-me places and meet new people. The theme of renewal and strengthening my relationship with God while appreciating unique places of worship in beautiful coastal Maine settings felt like it would be Episcopal Summer Camp. And in many ways, I was right!

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour (Bonus): All Saints Chapel, Orr’s Island

Wayne and I didn’t attend services here but we passed All Saints on Orr’s Island on the way to Bailey Island this week. We were hoping maybe someone would be around to let us in but all was quiet. I took some photos of the outside that I hope you will enjoy!

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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Martin’s in the Field, Biddeford Pool

Wayne and I visited St. Martin’s in the Field in Biddeford Pool for the 11:00 a.m. service. Although we have never been to the chapel I have been to the area many times before because it’s in the same neighborhood as The Marie Joseph Spiritual Center. The church is literally in a field (which is a golf course on one side) as the name denotes. Like all of the others we have visited, it is charming, welcoming and has beautiful stained glass that you MUST see! The sermon by Rev. Dina van Klaveren (pictured above) was very inspiring. Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Martin’s in the Field, Biddeford Pool”

An Enchanted English Garden at Pineland Farms, New Gloucester

There are people, places and moments that bring out the unguarded, trusting and open-hearted child within. The garden at Pineland Farms is one such place for us. When Wayne and I entered the white gates last week, we walked into what felt like a dream.  Continue reading “An Enchanted English Garden at Pineland Farms, New Gloucester”

Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Philips by the Sea, Fortunes Rocks, Biddeford

St. Philips by the Sea was on our original itinerary for a visit today, but I had crossed it off a few weeks ago after our unexpected experience.  St. Philips doesn’t have a website nor a contact phone number, and its location, Fortunes Rocks, is on a public road but much of the rest of it is private and a part of an exclusive association. I was apprehensive thinking we shouldn’t go without being able to ensure we wouldn’t be intruding somehow. All we knew from the Diocese website was that services are at 9:30. At the last minute, as in this morning, instead of taking a week off from the tour, I decided I wanted to give St. Philips a chance. Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Philips by the Sea, Fortunes Rocks, Biddeford”

Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: Trinity Chapel, Kennebunk Beach

Wayne and I took a scenic drive to Trinity Chapel in Kennebunk Beach which is a seaside community filled with gorgeous Victorians and wood shingled cottages. From the church website: “We have a ten week summer season, starting the last Sunday of June and saying Goodbye on the first Sunday of September. The chapel is open every day from morning to dusk, for quiet contemplation, or a noisier visit by KBIA campers. Dogs and sand are ok too. All are welcome, all of the time. The chapel is always tucked in for the winter, to open again in the spring, and by special arrangement at other times.”
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Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Peter’s By The Sea, Cape Neddick

We got an early start this morning so that we could double dip by attending two services, one at St. Ann’s and the other at St. Peter’s By The Sea. Today is also my twenty-third sobriety anniversary! Our original plan was to attend services at a local-to-us summer chapel after a celebratory breakfast at the Black Point Inn. We had to change our plans but today turned out to be another magical Sunday summer morning in Maine thanks to the welcoming Episcopalian spirit! Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Peter’s By The Sea, Cape Neddick”