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Enjoying a Century Old House

Yes, there is a little funkiness going on in a house that has weathered 100 Maine winters.  Nevertheless, Kill Kare is a venerable old lady in spite of her little idiosyncrasies which will endear themselves to you in no time. As a summer cottage, Kill Kare is very welcoming and comfortably appointed.

THE PLUMBING

The toilets in Kill Kare will function just fine if only single-ply toilet paper  (which we have supplied) is flushed through the system.  Please do not try to flush Kleenex or feminine hygiene products.  These will jam up the pipes.  Children’s stuffed animals, we have learned, don’t do them any good either.

There is a hot water heater, which means there is a finite amount of hot water.  We suggest that you limit the length of your showers and not run the dishwasher or clothes washer while someone is taking a shower.

Please run the dishwasher only when full of dirty dishes.  No wooden bowls or utensils in the dishwasher, please.  And plastic needs to be confined to the upper rack.

Because our water is supplied by a well, please be careful and sparing using the water.  For drinkability, it is unusually pure and refreshing.

THE ANTIQUES

We hope that you will enjoy the lovely antiques that both my grandmother and my mother collected for Kill Kare.  To preserve them, we ask that you not put wet clothes or towels on wooden surfaces.

Also please use coasters under your drinks.  A large supply of them can be found in the apothecary’s chest at one end of the couch.

THE LIGHTS

Electricity is very expensive in rural Maine.  We’d be very grateful if you made sure all the lights are turned off (except for exterior ones if you go out at night) when you leave the house.  Thanks.

THE TRASH

Kindly confine all bagged trash and garbage to the trash cans in the wooden box outside of the kitchen door.  It will be collected on a weekly basis.  Any garbage left outside is an invitation to an “all you can eat” buffet to woodland creatures.  If you need an additional pick-up, please let us know.

THE RECYCLABLES

Maine does not yet have a sophisticated recycling program like the one you undoubtedly have at home so not all cans and bottles are eligible.  Only cans and bottles that are clearly marked as recyclable (i.e. that indicate on the can that it is recyclable in Maine for 5 or 15 cents) can go in the bin (sometimes in eensy-weensy writing on the top or on the side of the can).  Liquor bottles must have a sticker from the State of Maine on them.  So, if you brought wine or liquor from home, those bottles must go in the trash.  We know, it’s counterintuitive, but that’s the way it is in the woods of Maine!

THE APPLIANCES

Please run the appliances – clothes washer, dryer and dishwasher – only when you plan to be in the house.

THERE WILL BE BUGS

(AND CRITTERS)

We are in the woods of Maine.  There will be bugs (mosquitoes, gnats, no see-ums, moths, spiders, etc.).  We have had the property treated for mosquitoes, gnats, no see-ums, moths, spiders, etc. as well as wasps and stinging insects.  Feel free to avail yourselves of the bug juice in the broom closet under the stairs near the kitchen.  There may also be an occasional bat (remember they eat their weight in mosquitoes) or mouse (who may nibble on the fruit or muffins you leave on the counter.  We have solved this issue by putting food in the microwave for the night).    We have found that if you give a mouse or a bat a lovely French name, such as Simone, Clothilde or Marie Claire, they appear to be more friendly and less icky.  We’re not making this up!  We rarely see snakes and there are no poisonous ones in Maine.

RAINY DAYS

Inevitably, there are Maine summers that are rainier than others.  Sometimes we have only a shower here or there and other times a system of wet weather will just move in and settle for a while.  Maine can still be fun in the rain.  It can also be pretty in the fog – it contributes to that Down East “mystique”.  There are plenty of shops, art galleries, bookstores, antique shops and restaurants in the nearby towns of Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Penobscot, Stonington and Castine. (Click onto the link “Down East Maine at the top of the page for a full listing of neighboring towns and what they have to offer.)  Ellsworth is only about a 1/2-hour drive from us and has shops and restaurants.  There are two movie theaters in Bangor (Spotlight Cinemas, Bangor Movie Theaters) which is about an hour from us and also one in Bucksport (The Alamo).  Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Acadia National Park are within 60 miles of Kill Kare.  (Allow plenty of time for summer traffic.)  Admittedly, these destinations are prettier in the sunshine, but they still have much to offer in less clement weather.

Alternatively, you could light a fire in the fireplace at Kill Kare, enjoy a cup of tea or cocoa, read a book, snooze, play a game of Scrabble with the family or put together a jigsaw puzzle all the while being mesmerized by the gentle tapping of the rain on the roof.  Relax!  That’s what a vacation is for, after all.  An assortment of games and puzzles are provided for your enjoyment.  They are in the top of the closet in the downstairs bedroom and upstairs in the TV room. There is also an large DVD library to choose from and a flat screen TV in our newly decorated upstairs den.

INTERNET CONNECTION

Yes –  we have it just up the hill at Chinook, the carriage house apartment.  It’s high speed and wireless so you can come up at anytime and sit outside in the Adirondack chairs or in your car and check your email.  Just click “KillKare.guests” under your Internet symbol.  The password is walkerpond.   Or, if it’s a rainy day, give me a call (359-2559) and I’d be happy to let you in and fix you a cup of tea.  Please resist the urge to download music and movies or any large files.  That will cause us to exceed our Fair Access limit and the connection speed will be worse than dial-up – a very bad thing and no one will be happy!

Come sit in an Adirondack chair and get connected to the world!

Come sit in an Adirondack chair and get connected to the world!

TELEPHONE

The telephone plan at Kill Kare includes all local and long-distance calls throughout the US and Canada.  Please charge any overseas calls to your phone card or credit card.  Phones are located throughout the cottage.  A mobile phone with answering machine is on the desk to the right as you enter Kill Kare.  There is a landline in the dining room.  Three more mobile phones are in the first floor bedroom, the upstairs TV room and Queen-sized room.

TV, DVD PLAYER AND iPOD DOCK

We do not get TV reception at Kill Kare.  We have asked renters if TV reception or cable would enhance their visit and they have answered with a resounding NO. (Read a book, play a game or get outside, they respond!) However, there is a DVD player hooked up to the flatscreen TV upstairs so that you can enjoy movies.  We have a DVD library in Kill Kare.  Movies can also be rented at Trade Winds Market in Blue Hill.  There is also an iPod dock so you can enjoy your own music.   The clock radio in the kitchen is equipped with a CD player.

PORCH FLOWERS

The hanging baskets, window boxes and potted plants on the porches will be watered on a weekly basis.  If they begin to look a little droopy, however, we’d be grateful if you could give them a drink.  There is a watering can in the laundry room.

OUR CARETAKER

Matt Freedman is our wonderful caretaker who lives in Brooksville at the north end of the lake.  He has made himself available should you have an emergency that you cannot handle: burst pipes, septic system misbehaving, etc.  Matt’s number is: 266-7693.  Feel free to call Matt if it is a real emergency.  He has a family too so please call only if it is something that can’t wait.  Should Matt be away or not available to come, we will make sure you have an alternate number.  This information will be on the contact lists posted at all phones in the cottage.

SUNSETS AND STARRY NIGHTS

Since Kill Kare faces west, we are often treated to some breathtaking sunsets.  On a clear night, go out to the porch and look at the stars.  There are so few lights in the area that the stars literally pop out of the sky.  A fun thing to do is to see how many constellations you can identity:  the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper (and the North Star) Cassiopeia, Orion’s Belt, etc.  Go lay on the dock and count the shooting stars. And, if you’re really, really lucky, you’ll be treated to Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis – but only on very clear, very cold nights – usually as summer slips into fall.

A stunning summer sunset from Kill Kare's porch

A stunning summer sunset from Kill Kare’s porch

CHINOOK

Chinook (pronounced “Shi-nuk”) is what we call the carriage house apartment you pass on your left as you go towards Kill Kare.  It is where our family stays while we rent the cottage. All Camp Four Winds  buildings were named after winds:  Puff, Zephyr, Breeze, Sirocco, Squall, Twister, etc. (click on the History link above for information on the family’s summer camp for girls that ran from 1946-2002)  Chinook, a warm spring wind, was the name of the office at Four Winds (it’s said that it’s where all the hot air was in camp).  It is also a nod to Dan’s Pacific Northwest heritage.  Please stop by and say hello.

Chinook - the Larson family home while we rent Kill Kare.

Chinook – the Larson family home while we rent Kill Kare. This is also where you can check your email. Come sit in the Adirondack chairs when you want to get online.

THE GUEST BOOK

Please sign the guest book on the desk in the living room and preserve your visit for posterity.  Also, please include any tips on fun activities, great restaurants and wonderful shopping for future guests.

My mother (very brave) on ice (very thick) in front of Kill Kare - circa 1930's

My mother (very brave) on ice (very thick) in front of Kill Kare – circa 1930’s