Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where in the world is The ROUS MOTEL, you ask?

Working like mad on Deeply Dapper, our novels and "real" work. But I hope I'll be back soon as things start to stabilize. 



Thursday, September 27, 2012


 For a limited time, you can get my first novel, The Whispering Ferns for FREE on amazon.com! Go HERE to buy it and visit our other blog, Rainy Day Writers to read more about it!


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Second Annual Monson Swap Meat

Now Playing -  Is This Love by Bob Marley
Life -  
 Now that's how you spend a laid back Saturday in Maine! Last year, we were lucky enough to stumble across the Swap Meat while my mom was here and we made it a point to attend this year.
What is the Swap Meat, you ask? It's a yearly event, arranged by Spring Creek Bar-B-Q in Monson, Maine. Coinciding with Monson's yearly summer celebration, the Swap Meat brings together roughly a dozen grillers, smokers, barbecuers and cookers from around the area to ply their wares and share technique.

It's a lot of fun in a simple, back country kind of way. There's plenty of good food, some questionable live music and  if the last two years are any indication, beautiful weather!

The important question - What did we eat?

Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket, BBQ Lobster Rolls, Meatloaf, hand cut french fries, jerky and pork sandwiches. All very, very delicious!
The only downsides? Despite checking three times, we were never in time to get the grilled veggie kabobs, there was no whole pig on fire like last year and the "Fresh Squeezed Lemonade".
Why was the lemonade a disappointment? It was 16oz for $3. They put one lemon half on a squeezer and squished it right into the glass - looking good so far! Then they toss the entire  half in, taking up space and adding some seeds and whatnot to the mix. But it looked cool. Then they added a good 6oz of ice. Sigh. Expected, but still. Then they top off the final 1/2 glass with some mysterious lemonade from a jug on the table. Which tasted like Crystal Light. Bah.
I know, I thought about that too. Luckily, the lobster roll came from a tub, pre-made and refrigerated. The lobsters out in the sun were for looks. And the roll was quite good.

We didn't spend a lot of time in Monson. We wandered the Meat, popped into an antique store and moseyed amiably down the street for a while. They were having an anything-goes boat race and fireworks later, but I'd worked until 5am the night before and that much meat was starting to take it's toll.

Yes, that is a smoker made out of a file cabinet.

On the way home however, we did make another stop in the adorable town of Dover Foxcroft at Butterfield's Ice Cream for some amazing homemade ice cream. I had Strawberry Cheesecake and Linz had some of the best Mint Chocolate Chip I've ever had.

Then we went home and I took a nap.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Accio Moolah!

Now Playing -  Sound Of Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Life -

 I was looking at my Etsy Shoppe offerings the other day and sighed. It was doing well - better than I could have hoped. There's some really fun stuff over there and it's getting attention, but not as much as I wanted. How are we to quit our jobs, buy a Motel and live off our writing and Etsy income? I thought.

My wife walked by and said, "You should make some Harry Potter Light Switch Covers."

 "Yes, yes, dear. You love Harry Potter."  I said in my most Patronus-izing voice.

"No really - look at these ones on this site. People love Harry Potter!"

"I love Harry Potter too," I said, like every man that is married to a woman that loves Harry Potter would say if he ever wanted sweet, sweet loving again.

I eyed the competition. The four leaf clover shaped scar over my eyebrow furrowed. "Those kind of look like crap. What is that - neon fabric and glitter?"

"Exactly!" she crowed triumphantly.

"Exactly what?!?" I asked, Sirius Blackly.

"Look at their sales."

"Sweet pogo-sticking Dumbledore in the morning!" I said. ""Out of my way, Muggle - I have Switchplates to design! To the Fortress Of Smallitude!"

So now, in book two, my shop is doing better. my views are up and people really seem to dig my new items. Maybe a little part of my soul get's Avada Kedavra'd each time I make a HP plate instead of a scrimshaw carving of a schooner, but if it fills the vault and frees my house elves, I'll do it.

Check out all of the new Harry Potter Switch Plates at the Official Deeply Dapper Etsy Shoppe!

(Note - This post was written after I may or may not have inhaled a large amount of fumes from paint and melted plastic. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the zoo. Slithers and I have a game of cribbage to finish.)


Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Month, New Blog

Now Playing -  Crutch by The Tossers
Life -  
New Month, New Blog!

Not this one, The ROUS Motel shall continue to sporadically chronicle our lives and attempts to eventually see our dreams of owning a motel come true and in the meantime, fill space with pictures of our dogs. (Though I plan to start posting a few recipes too)

Instead, I refer to Lindsay's and my new blog, Rainy Day Writers! The new blog will feature articles from both of us, mostly focusing on our writing of kids books and our work making a little cash in the process, self pubbing and going the traditional route. So far I have one book out in the genre and I'm starting on book two and Lindsay is currently plugging away at a top secret project in the genre.

So click on through to the site with the bar below. Read, Comment and enjoy! (And rest assured that with my wife part of it, that the blog will be posted pretty regularly! haha)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Spring In Maine

Now Playing -  This Could All Be Yours Someday by Guster

Life -  
Spring in Maine... Doesn't exist. They have the Thaw. And Mud Season. And Blackfly Season. And at some point, in between or after or all at the same time, Summer arrives. It is here now in the Bangor area, and it's pretty great. Temperatures in the mid seventies, a light breeze, rain every eight days or so, just enough to keep everything green, green, Green. 

Everything is beautiful right now. The grass is green and lush, the forests teem with ferns and all manner of life, from slugs to adorable baby deer. We've seen five deer in our backyard in the last few weeks, to say nothing of the hundreds of birds. Red Winged Blackbirds, Starlings, Jays, an Owl or two, Robins, Sparrows, all manner of seabird that I would embarrass myself by trying to identify, woodpeckers... Anyway, there's a lot of birds. And it gets light at around 5 am and they waste no time in getting to singing. Our entire property is filled with birdsong until dusk, around 9pm, when the frogs take over. 

We have told ourselves this year that despite countless other projects we're working on, Etsy, Writing, Weight Loss, Home Improvement, Moon Base Construction (Not a real project) We'd find some time to explore and enjoy the area we live in. That could be rough, neither of us have a lot of free time and with the schedules we work, our days off together are far and few between and there's usually so much to do during them that finding time for something leisure related is tough. 

A few weeks ago we managed it though and took off for a road trip in Stormalong with the boys. Our goal was to find a place to go camping later this summer, probably July. We checked out a small local camp that was privately owned and  while it was decently secluded and near a small lake and only about 20 minutes from the house, it was also clearly geared towards trailer campers and had a large amount of sites for seasonal rental - some with full fledged cabins installed for the season. "Upta Camp" as the locals call it.

So we went further afield, up North about an hour to Sebec Lake, where we found a great little state run campsite. The rates are reasonable, the campsites are cute and mostly secluded, very shady and tent friendly. They remind us a lot of our camps out West. They have a little path down to the lake and full facilities, including bathrooms with showers and dish-washing sinks. And they're dog friendly. Excellent!

After our drive, we made a small detour to Monson, where we loaded up on Bar-B-Q, including a sublime cheesesteak with smoked beef and made another plan for the summer - to attend our second Swap Meat this July 21st. A heavenly event where barbecuers around the East converge on a tiny town and do their best to out smoke each other. We went last year with my mom when she was visiting and had a blast. There was a burning pig. What could be better than that, I ask?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Going Home Again - Part Four

Now Playing -  Say Goodbye by Norah Jones
Life -  
 When we were headed back to Idaho, I had actually been concerned that the thinner mountain air would cause some difficulty for me. I've never been the best when it comes to breathing - I always feel stuffy, but I'd read that many people have trouble making the switch back after being gone for a while. I did not have that problem. In fact, I loved the thin, sweet mountain air. I'd missed it.

What I had forgotten was how incredibly dry the air is in Idaho. I felt like a sponge on a hot sidewalk as the days passed. My skin dried up, my lips cracked, my nose bled more frequently. Even my hair seemed more brittle. My heel cracked up the back and started bleeding. Now, some of this was my fault. We were spending hours a day in sheds and garages, shuffling through boxes and papers and it was in the mid to high eighties the whole time, as opposed to the sixties and seventies we'd been having in Maine and I wasn't drinking as much as I should have been.

The last few days of our trip were better. Yard sale over, we were still very busy, but it was with visits and friends, barbecues and reminiscing, the good stuff. We had a smaller BBQ at Rich's for closer friends and family and a large picnic at a park for extended family, where I was blessed to see my uncle Maynard (Isn't that a great Western name?) who has been battling illness for a long time - his doctor wrote him off and he keeps on fighting, even growing an enviably wavy head of hair back.My crazy and hilarious Aunt Carroll came too, which was great - She's the second greatest influence on my interest in reading and writing after my mom. And the ever increasingly large Marley Clan sent their representatives. Not everyone - just the cool ones. haha

After the park, on the last night in Pocatello, we got together with some friends and family and went to a late night 3D showing of Avengers, which was spectacular, stopped by my old Walgreens to say hi to Mr. Wizard and stumbled to bed at 2am.

We didn't get out of town the next day until after 11 - had a leisurely breakfast at Butterburr's, loaded a few last things into the dumpster and then slept in the car most of the way to Salt Lake City. We didn't fly out until midnight, but we'd promised Lindsay's brother that we'd spend the day with him and his family. This turned out to be a fantastic idea. We had a low key, laid back evening grilling burgers and playing with a freaky little bunny and headed to the airport.

I love Red-Eye flights - There's something very apocalyptic when you are flying over the lights of a city at 3am and usually, you're one of just three or four people awake on the plane. The problem with them is that I can't sleep during them at all - I have an easier time sleeping during day flights so my next day is a little rough. The flight itself was a typically squalid affair - Delta again - crappy snacks, pokey armrests with the added inconvenience of inconsiderate people in front of you reclining their seats. The thing goes back 3 inches, tops for the person sitting in the chair, yet somehow reduces the amount of space the person behind has by half. I despise it.

When we touched down in Bangor (After a flight in a humorously tiny plane) the difference in humidity on our skin was immediate and jarring. My fingers felt pruny. It was a fine trip and we were very glad we did it, but man, it was good to get home - see our kids and sleep in our own bed again.

Was it all it could be? It was worth doing - we loved seeing family and it was incredibly reassuring to re-pack and go through our shed, but it was no vacation. Next time, we plan to fly right over Idaho - rent a house on the Oregon coast and let any family that wants to see us drive a few hours and hang out on the beach in front of the Pacific with us. That's a vacation.