Introducing Gull’s View in Harborside Maine!

“There’s a quality of life in Maine which is this singular and unique. I think. It’s absolutely a world onto itself.” ~ Jamie Wyeth

Chelsea and I are pleased to be chosen to manage our first rental property in the Brooksville village of Harborside, close to Holbrook Island Sanctuary.  Formerly known as Billabong, Gull’s View is about as authentic a Maine seasonal cabin as anyone will find, well-loved for many years by family and guests.  Technically a log cabin built in 1912, like most sought-after Maine seasonal rentals, it sits right on the water, specifically Smith’s Cove on Penobscot Bay.

Take a look at the beach and view!

And the view from the screened-in porch!

Not pretentious, fancy, or stuffy, Gull’s View is 2000 square feet, charmingly rustic with tastefully decorated interior and modern, comfortable furniture, ready for guests to relax and get away from it all, and with satellite TV and Wifi, guests can still stay connected. There are two bedrooms, one queen bed, 2 twin beds, one queen pull-out sofa (new!) and two baths and has a max occupancy of 6 people.

And, what puts it over the top in guest comfort, especially for an antique cabin, is a newly installed heat pump, providing cooling air in the heat of the summer and warmth through mid-October.

Holbrook Island Sanctuary, located close by, is a special, not-well-known state park and a favorite place for bird lovers and botany enthusiasts. Visitors are free to explore its diverse ecosystems, hike and bike the old roads and paths, swim, kayak and explore the shoreline.

Its benefactor, Anita Harris, began acquiring land in Brooksville for a sanctuary in the 1960s.  In 1971, wishing to preserve this special environment and encourage its use by other nature lovers, she donated 1230 acres to the State of Maine, “in order to preserve for the future a piece of the unspoiled Maine that I used to know.”

There is an excellent book written by Reta Farnsworth Hunter, who grew up in Harborside, called Anita’s Island.  It’s not in print any longer but is available through libraries and is a fascinating account of what it was like for the Harris family to live and raise their family on Holbrook Island.

Check out this Google Earth map of the area:,-68.76541894,1.71956679a,3289.87592085d,34.99997565y,360h,0t,0r?pli=1

As you’ve probably gathered, we’re really looking forward to welcoming our guests to this wonderful rental.

This is the time to book your rental property!  We hope you’ll check it out! 

We are now Covid-19 Cleaning Certified

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

In our quest to learn all we can to thoroughly and efficiently clean our owners’ properties, and ensure that our cleaners, our guests, and ourselves stay safe from unwanted microbes, Chelsea and I have been researching best cleaning practices and found a short but very informative course from a website called

Here is what they say about their courses:

The courses have been developed to confirm and solidify knowledge of cleaning processes during normal times and during pandemic (COVID-19) and post-pandemic times for health, disinfection, and personal protection equipment processes.

Health and PPE information has been gathered from the CDC, WHO and OSHA and presented in an easily digestible way so that workers can remember the information.

The example cleaning processes presented in the courses are based on best practices developed for SARS. This is recommended by the CDC for COVID-19.

Well we’re pleased to report that we passed (it was touch and go in a few sections). They let you take the section quizzes over – up to 99 times. (I guess if you don’t get the answers right by then they figure you better do something else other than professional cleaning.)

We have now earned the right to display their badge in our marketing and I must say, we picked up some really good information. Anyone can take the short (about 40 minutes) course for $20.

Here is a link to check it out:

Thoughts on environmentally-friendly cleaning products and Covid-19….

“Organic: When we don’t mess with their chemistry, they won’t mess with our chemistry.”

The choice of cleaning products that we use is very important to us and when we started our property rental business Chelsea and I knew we would use environmentally-friendly products to clean the rental houses – products that will do no harm to ourselves and our guests. I had heard of Better Life products from the TV show Shark Tank and ordered samples from their website. Their prices seem reasonable and we both liked the way they cleaned and smelled after trying them out in our own homes.

Enter Covid-19. Because Better Life products contain no chemicals or pesticides we wondered if they would effectively clean – especially killing viruses that might be present. So we contacted the company and asked. Here is what they said in a recent email:

“BETTER LIFE® Cleaning Products are cleaners. They do not kill bacteria or viruses. They’re like the studies that show that washing your hands with a good soap has been proven effective at getting your hands clean. Our products work the same way. We use great, plant-based cleaning agents to clean the surfaces in your home and office, an important part in practicing good hygiene.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines specific to the Coronavirus outbreak, and keeping a clean house and clean hands are a great first line of defense against this virus. They suggest cleaning “high touch surfaces everyday using a household cleaning spray” and “washing hands often with soap and water”.

All our cleaners are not antibacterial, but they leave contaminated surfaces clean.

Disinfecting cleaning products are registered with the EPA as pesticides and leave a toxic residue on surfaces (those chemicals aren’t just deadly to bacteria and germs!). Our cleaning products are not pesticides, so we don’t make disinfectant or anti-bacterial claims.

What our products do is an amazing job of cleaning surfaces. If you saw us on Shark Tank, you saw our All-Purpose Cleaner clean a surface that had been contaminated with raw chicken. Disinfecting agents are toxic to people, pets, and the planet, not to mention the surfaces in your home, so we developed a better way using natural surfactants.”

So, we wondered, if we just use Better Life cleaning products, will they be effective at killing the Corona Virus? We did further research (including and found that, after cleaning, wiping surfaces down with 7% isopropyl alcohol, diluted household bleach or hydrogen peroxide, is effective, and hydrogen peroxide doesn’t need to be wiped off because it decomposes into oxygen and water, so it can be sprayed into hard to reach areas. also said that plain old surface scrubbing with soap and water is effective, because the friction breaks the corona virus’s protective envelope when you “scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and really need to get it off”).

While we’ll continue to research best cleaning practices for our homes and our owners’ rental properties we’re relieved to find that there are environmentally-friendly options that will destroy viruses without the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Until next time, we hope you’re making the most of this rare and unusual time at home with loved ones. (A further reminder that there really is always a silver lining – sometimes you just have to hunt a little longer to find it… :0)

Finding a silver lining in all of this…

“Enlightenment is when the wave realizes it is the ocean.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

What a surreal time we’re in and how eye-opening it is that a pandemic can happen so quickly and affect so many. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones. We watch in unbelieving silence the crisis in European countries and listen to the warnings that experts repeat over and over telling us that it’s coming our way and to prepare and stay home for as long as necessary.

Will people still want to take a vacation in Maine this summer and fall? We are getting inquiries and some bookings, but not that many, and it doesn’t surprise us. People have immediate priorities that don’t involve vacationing and that’s the way it should be.

We have had a few inquiries, especially from families looking to leave NYC for a few weeks and find a rental home in this area. We do have a few houses available, even though our area is not a popular destination at this time of year (which is why we locals go on vacation!). It’s probably looking pretty good to those in corona virus hotspots but is it a good idea for us locals? We’re not going to escape the virus. Are these good-hearted people speeding up the virus surge? There is an interesting article in the Ellsworth American this week.

We’re hoping you are all doing well and finding a silver lining in all of this. For me, perhaps a silver lining is paying more attention to my home and finding the rake to begin winter cleanup. I’ve also cleaned off my desk and am feeling more organized in that department. Perhaps I’ll even paint the room that has been waiting on me for months.

How about you? Are you finding any silver linings that you want to share?

Sending our best to you!

What makes a great vacation property rental company?

Greetings from Blue Hill Maine where it’s a bit chilly (but not too bad). We had a couple of days of single digit temps (and below 0 at night) but it’s back up in the mid 30s again – so we’re having a bit of a heat wave! I added the above photo of Blue Hill Bay, all covered with snow and waiting for the spring thaw, to give you an idea of how the bay looks when our town isn’t yet bustling with summertime activity.

We really like our new website ( and hope our visitors will too. During these last few months (and with alot of help from our website guru Lisa) we’ve been planning, making lists, researching, writing, and rewriting content.

We also began wondering what potential guests might tell us if we asked what they would want from a property rental company (like ours!) and from a vacation rental home that they stayed in. So we’ve decided to ask our readers.

  1. In your opinion what would you look for in a vacation property rental company?
  2. Also in your opinion, what do you think is important to travelers in their rented vacation property? (Some examples we’ve heard are: a well-stocked kitchen, nice towels and bedding, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any feedback you’d like to contribute! Until next time….