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Hellos & Happy Birthdays New members, please use this board to introduce yourselves. Been gone awhile? Let your friends here know you're back! Is it somone's birthday? Wish 'em a happy one!

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2011, 04:20 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Default Hello from Maine

It looks like I'm expected to introduce myself since I'm new here, so I'll get that part over with now.

I am currently living in Millinocket, Maine. Millinocket was once home to the largest pulp and paper mill in the world. The mill closed a few years ago and, since that was pretty much the only basket anyone had to put eggs in here, the population of the town has diminished considerably. Millinocket is at the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, and you can easily find a house here for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000. We paid $14,500 for what was then a 3-unit apartment house, which we converted into a single family home. Since my wife and I both earn our living through the Internet, we can afford to live here, although it does require several trips either to Bangor or Presque Isle on shopping trips, since many of our stores closed shortly after the mill went.

Prior to moving here, I grew up in a farming/logging community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I moved to Southern California when I was seventeen and lived there for twelve years, raising a son whom I adopted as a single parent when he was seven and I was twenty.

When the paper company that employed closed its paper bag operations, in which I was working, I was recruited by paper bag plant in Brownsville, Texas, which is on the Texas-Mexico border. I didn't like working there very much so I went back to school and became a paramedic, EMS instructor and coordinator, and worked in that field for just over twenty years, directing one service, as the program chairman of the EMT program at a state college, then buying into my own company for six years.

When I married (for the first and only time) at the age of forty-eight, my wife didn't want to live in Texas, so I sold my part of the company to my partner and we moved to Maine.

So here I am. However, living in Millinocket wouldn't bring me to a forum like this, since I live on all of a half an acre, more than half of which is taken up by our house, the rest of the ground sitting on a bed of coal ash which isn't much good for growing anything but grass and trees that fall over when they get too tall. I did grow potatoes last year, but I grew them in large compost bags resting on a bed of rocks for drainage. That actually worked out quite well, if only as an experiment.

We have recently bought a hundred acres of land in St. Agatha (pronounced as if the last two letters weren't there). It's a French thing, I guess, since St. Agatha is in the St. John Valley in northern Maine, where people speak French-Canada as often as they speak English. I spent more than twenty years in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where I didn't understand half of what anyone around me was saying, so I'm used to that.

Although our property is in the town limits, it's a very small town, and our property is far outside of the settled part of town. There are no utilities extended that far, and the road (of which we own property on both sides) becomes a snowmobile trail in the winter.

Our property borders a small brook on one side, but there are no ponds or lakes or other above-ground sources of water that I know of. I haven't walked the majority of it, so anything is possible, I suppose. I don't see anything on Google Earth, though.

Thirty years ago, our land was all potato fields. Except for one five acre section and another couple of acres that we own of another five acre section, it has all grown up in trees, though. I would estimate a 20-30 year growth in most of it. Very thick, and hard to walk through. Parts of it is pretty wet, and another section of it is grown up into a thick cedar swamp.

Our property is in a mountainous area, with mountains on all sides of it, but I don't think I have anything in the way of a hill on our property, although a large part of the property is dry enough. We have a nice mix of hardwoods and softwoods, although not a lot of large trees. I have seen moose just walking through there, and I know we have deer and bear, which is sort of nice since northern Maine is in the northernmost range that whitetail deer are generally found.

I've put a lot of thought into what I might want to do with it, although these things often change when it comes to actually doing it. I know that I need to do some woodlot management, clearing parts of it for wildlife purposes, and thinning other parts of it. I plan on keeping it wooded, for the most part, but right now it's so thickly wooded that I need to open up some parts of it so that the rest of it can grow.

Not knowing where the world is headed, and being not entirely optimistic that life will just go on as it has through most of my lifetime, I would also like to hold that land as a place of refuge, should it ever become necessary, and otherwise have a nice place to be able to get out of town once in awhile, without having to rent someone else's cabin.

As they are now, my plans are to build a fairly rough shelter out of the lumber that I'll be clearing from my land, something that we can spend some nights in, but which may later be able to serve other purposes.

Then, I would like to try my hand at building an earth-bag structure. If you're not familiar with that type of construction, watch a World War II movie and pay attention to the bunkers. That's sort of the basis for it, although the bags themselves will be covered over with exterior and interior plasters.

Of course, when it comes to actually doing the work, I might be tempted to get lazy and buy a building from one of our Amish communities, since they build very good buildings at reasonable prices.

That's about it for an introduction, I suppose.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:30 AM
beekeeper beekeeper is offline
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welcome!

We live just a bit South of you in Argyle.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2011, 02:02 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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welcome!

We live just a bit South of you in Argyle.
I've never actually gotten off of I-95 to see Argyle, but I go through the town limits on my way to Bangor all the time.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:02 PM
Nancymw Nancymw is offline
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Sounds like an interesting area. Welcome to the forum.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2011, 06:57 PM
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DavidOH Male DavidOH is offline
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Welcome.

It's not about how much you have, it's about making the most of what you have.
Many folks here have a smaller property than I do.
A large farm or a potted garden on a balcony, we learn to produce something.
I have yet to get a payback on my gardening attempts.
My backyard is clay fill, and hasn't grown anything substantial but the grass and weeds. It's a long process to build up the soil to support more.

The local Amish built me a nice shed you see pictured here.
Far better than the commercial offerings at the local super lumberyards.
I wouldn't consider that lazy, but a shortcut that allows you to move on to other things. Best wishes on your adventure. David
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2011, 09:45 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Thank you, David. The Amish do a pretty good job of whatever they do.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:55 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Default Hello Again

It has been about four years since I've been here, I think. If I remember correctly, I was going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer when I was last here. Well, that's been done for awhile and my PSA numbers are still good, although the radiation was not without side effects.

Then earlier this year, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My right thyroid was removed, and found to be cancerous. Then my left thyroid was removed, and I am waiting a schedule for radioactive iodine, which is supposed to kill any remaining cancer cells.

I don't feel like I'm dying or anything, although I have had more optimistic periods in my life.

I'm not sure why I haven't been here for so long. I just got out of the habit of it, I guess, although I really loved this forum. I will try to spend some time here again.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:31 AM
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Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfander View Post
It has been about four years since I've been here, I think. If I remember correctly, I was going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer when I was last here. Well, that's been done for awhile and my PSA numbers are still good, although the radiation was not without side effects.

Then earlier this year, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My right thyroid was removed, and found to be cancerous. Then my left thyroid was removed, and I am waiting a schedule for radioactive iodine, which is supposed to kill any remaining cancer cells.

I don't feel like I'm dying or anything, although I have had more optimistic periods in my life.

I'm not sure why I haven't been here for so long. I just got out of the habit of it, I guess, although I really loved this forum. I will try to spend some time here again.
kfander welcome back. My wife is going through breast cancer. I understand how you feel.
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2016, 04:02 PM
dandelion dandelion is offline
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Welcome kfander, fancy meeting you here. Seems all my old friends are gone
But it's nice to see a newer old friend.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2018, 02:53 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Another couple of years, and here I am again. Last time I came back, it was with the intent of sticking around because I was a member of this forum for quite a while and enjoyed it. I didn't stop enjoying it, but just got busy with other things. I am running a forum for seniors, fifty years old or older, so of course I spend a great deal of my time there, but that's a very different forum from this one.

Anyhow, I am doing well. I'm a bit older, so things hurt sometimes but nothing has changed drastically. I am still living in Millinocket. We still have a camp up north, although I only got up there once last summer.

I am hoping our winter will be over soon. We haven't had any new snow for a few days, and the last snow wasn't much. We're supposed to get more snow beginning tomorrow and last at least through Friday, but the daytime temperatures are supposed to be above freezing, so I think that will mean more of a mess than anything else.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:10 PM
StockdaleDave Male StockdaleDave is offline
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Welcome back. Glad to see you are well.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2018, 09:26 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Thanks, I appreciate it and am going to do my best to remember to stop in more often than every two years.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:57 AM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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Welcome back! Glad to hear you are doing well.

We used to plant trees for the the paper companies in Maine. We worked up there for 9 seasons, mostly around Jackman, Rangely, Ashland and Caribou. Well, those are the areas we camped. The crews worked all over. Being a birder, I loved camping in the woods there. Lots of wildlife.
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2018, 01:23 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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I've been to all those places and regularly go through Ashland and Caribou.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:15 AM
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rice paddy daddy Male rice paddy daddy is offline
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Welcome back. Although I am a life-long Floridian, the blood in my veins is 100% Maine.
All my ancestors were from York County. Kittery, North Berwick, back to the Revolution.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:01 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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I've been through pretty much every town from central Maine on north, and quite a few of the southern Maine towns, including Kittery and North Berwick.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:28 AM
wildturnip Female wildturnip is offline
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We've been through a lot of them too. Beautiful places.
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