Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tess and I like Dock Days

 Tess swims a bit, then suns on the big rock.  I think every camp has a "Big Rock" along the shoreline.  We have 2, one at each dock.  Our neighbors have a bigger Big Rock. 

And I smile.  It was a very, very nice dock day.  Temps in the 80's, the water was cool but not at all cold, and there was a slight breeze to keep us cool.  Ahhhhhh.  This is what I had in mind when I retired, all I wanted was to have a summer without going to work.  Lucky me!
Lots of social life these days, plenty of time spent with Linda as well.  I made pickles, using a recipe from long ago.  My friend Barb and I used to make these pickles every year by the gallon, then eat the out of the jar.  They're sort of like bread & butter pickles only much better.
This morning I'm having coffee with friends who are leaving the lake today.  I'm hoping to convince them to return for Columbus Day and stay with me.  Then I'll make another batch of pickles.  Then I'll go to the dump.  Then I'll sit on the dock, if the sun comes out.  Tonight I'm having dinner with friends who invited my dogs to joins us.  I'll only take Treasure--Tess is easily bored and stares at me when she thinks it's time to go home (and that is always sooner than I'm ready to go).

The weather has been good but we could use a little rain.  The plants on my deck have pretty much died or pooped out.  I didn't show much interest in them this year.  The dogs picked the tomatoes.  I ate a few cucumbers.  The flowers looked nice for a while but I didn't deadhead them enough.  Today is dump day--I have my garbage, boat house garbage, camp garbage and friends' garbage so it will definitely be worth the trip. 

I've had a really good summer.  My only complaint is that I thought I'd be more productive--but uh-oh, my social life got in the way.  Most retired friends agree that we're less ambitious than we hope we'd be because we don't have to do anything today, there's always TOMORROW.  I have a long list of things to get done around the house, and only 2 items have been checked off and completed.

Not much else going on.  Dogs are all right.  Tess is old.  Treasure is good.  The people I'm seeing tonight are waiting for a puppy from the same breeder I get my dogs from.  She's expensive but boy oh boy these are nice dogs.  I had a good visit with a cousin & his wife recently--they're big Lab fans and love love love to visit with my dogs.  So my dogs love them.  REALLY love them.  They go bounding into camp (the dogs, not the cousins) and run to the front porch where Rob & Betsy are.  PET ME PET ME PET ME.  It's very sweet.

I've been reading quite a bit, nothing terribly notable but some good stuff.  What a luxury and joy.  Is retirement what I'd hope it would be?  All that and more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

 Mark at the beach.  I had a really nice trip to RI, with lots of beach time and plenty of visiting.  We went to the town beach but Mark has decided that Moonstone beach is the best.  He may be right--when we went there on Monday there were 2 other people there.  The water was wonderful, it was sunny and warm.  Really wonderful.  I had nice visits with my mother (who LIKES these dogs...) and she is just fine

Joe Pye Weed at the beach.  My father had a real thing for Joe Pye Weed.  Why?  I've never figured that out, it's pretty enough and nice to see but there are more spectacular wildflowers.   Anyway, my family is closely tied to Joe Pye Weed.  Mark even has it around the pond in my mother's yard.


And this is Gwen, Jenica's daughter.  She's a cutie, all right.  Now a toddler and more interested in what's happening in her world.  She liked the water at Silver Lake, which certainly pleased her mother and reassured me.  She has Jenica's dimples and our diastima (space between our front teeth--both Jenica and I have "cured" that).  A nice little girl.  Jenica and her college roommate were here for the weekend and I got to spend some really nice time with them.

Then my cousin Rob & his wife Betsy (yes, another one) were here and I had some really nice time with them.  We went paddling around the lake on a beautiful morning when the lake was glassy and you could see the bottom.  Wow it was magic.  They love my dogs, which makes both me and the dogs happy.

The pace of summer life is sort of settling down but there are people here to see, and more coming soon.  I had lunch with 2 different friends this week, nice to see both of them.  Dogs are doing well except for poor Tess who is suffering from her ragweed allergy.  "Oh, I itch, I itch so much."  I'm going to try spraying her with cider vinegar, based on different things I read.  I tried soaking her with watered-down vinegar today but all she did was lick it off.  OK, tomorrow she gets full strength.

Tomorrow I'm having coffee with friends, then at night am picking up Rush at the airport (probably).  Linda is having a campfire with friends.  I hope to see the Neels before they leave on Saturday.  Next week I have a hair appointment (which I thought was this week, until I took a closer look at the calendar).  Duncan and Sue come (can it be September already???).  I have to pick a date for my contribution to Sunday dinner.  Sunday night I host book group at the boat house, which will be very nice.  I read a wonderful book while in RI, The 100-year-old-man who climbed through the window and disappeared.  It was grand, I loved it.  Now I'm reading an old Nancy Thayer book but boy the print is small!

Weather has been good, still warm especially for August and the lake is very warm.  We could use a little rain.  I mowed some of the lawn--finally got my mower back from being repaired for 3 weeks.  Wow the lawn was long.  I tried to hit the ragweed to help Tess but didn't get it all, I'm sure.  She'll let me know when I do.

Summer can't be ending.  It's just too soon.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Pretty sights

Some scenes from the last time I stayed in the boat house (last week)
 My view from the boat house porch.  Can't be beat.
 Full moon rising on the far shore
Sunrise from the boat house dock

Cute people

Just had a great visit with the Neels, the whole family, which was really nice.  So good to see them all!  Played with their grandson and was very impressed with how cute & special he is.  It reminded me that the young children I meet these days--my great-neice, grandchildren of friends, children of friends--are very, very nice kids.  Gives you a good feeling about the future.  Were we so clever and cute? 

Spent time this week cleaning the house (or at least parts of it).  Had the Nadals come for dinner last night and that was fun.  I'm much more interested in having people come to my house since retiring, it just seems so much more doable.  We watched the Republicans for as long as we could stand it.  They left, I watched Jon Stewart and that was excellent.

Went to Plattsburgh earlier in the week, spent a lot of money on supplies and food.  I'm hosting the shoreowners' group at camp tomorrow afternoon so had to get some stuff for that, plus it turns out I haven't bought toilet paper or paper towels in a long time.

I've sort of moved home now that night's are cooler.  I don't like staying in the boat house when it's cold, it's not much fun to wake up in a cold place so I tend to stay at home when temps drop.

I went to the Keene farmers' market with Linda and that was a real treat.  So much great produce!  So many people and dogs!  It got crowded while we were there, it's an incredibly popular place.  This afternoon I'll go with Linda to pick up meat from her meat CSA.  I've ordered some stuff, moving slowly and gently into localvorism. 

Tess' ragweed allergy has arrived a bit early this year and she's already scratching so I went to Westport to pick up meds for her.  She can't take her usual prednisone because of her anti-inflammatory, so I had to spend $291 on special anti-itch pills.  Wow.  Every month seems to bring unexpected expenses.

What's up for the coming days?  Dump run tomorrow, of course.  Next week I head to RI, leaving on Thursday and returning the following Tuesday.  Beach time, I hope.  When I get home a childhood friend from Rockford is coming to visit for a couple of days.  I have things to do to get ready for that but the house is in fairly good shape.  I need to cut the grass but my mower is in the shop and has been for 2 weeks.  I have my cordless weedeater and must, must get out there and at least cut a path through the tall grass.

It's a beautiful day, but a bit cool with some clouds and sun.  True August day.  How did this happen?  How did August get here?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good intentions

Well, I have the best intentions about this blog.  I want to post more often but it just doesn't seem to be happening.  Yes, I'm busy, and I'm not spending much time at home, but it doesn't take long to write something (if anyone's out there reading this).

I've had a busy week, a hot and muggy week.  Sunday was all about food--an extravaganza of food for Bill's contribution to Sunday dinners.  A catered affair with many things.  That lasted for most of the afternoon, and at 6 we had book group with a bit more food (delicious) and a nice time.  We talked about the book (!) and visited.  Did we like The orchardist?  Yes, for the most part.  I thought it was very well written but we all had issues with some of the plot twists.

I spent a hot Tuesday morning in Plattsburgh--doctor's appointment and haircut.  Going to town in this weather makes me feel sooooo fortunate to have my home where it is. Oh yes.  I've spent most of my time on the boat house porch this week, with an occasional spell of dock time and swimming.  There's a cousin in camp with her friends, all of whom are very nice.  I keep to myself mostly and it all seems to work well. 

Wednesday I had a hot dock day, then went to Linda's for a farewell visit with MaryKay and Sheila.  We ended up at the Beach House for burger dinners and a good time.

Yesterday was another dock day--there's really not much else you feel like doing in this weather.  I went to the dump with Annie, then had a good visit with her.  I'll see her for dinner tonight.  Last night was dinner with my cousin and her friends on the porch at main camp, where there was an occasional breeze.

What's up for today?  Not much.  I think I'll have to go to a store for bread, maybe I'll go to the post office in AuSable to say hello to my friends there.  I haven't seen them since Duncan put up my mailbox and I resumed home delivery.

The dogs seem fine with sleeping in the boat house, splitting days between my house and camp.  They got new collars this week, probably the most exciting thing to happen to them for a while.  Aside from some porcupine quills in Treasure's chin.

I'm so very happy these days, truly enjoying retirement.  I've wanted to spend a summer home/at camp/with friends for so many years and I'm wallowing in this.  It is so wonderful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer: full speed ahead

Went paddling with my friends Julie and Karen last week.  It was the first time I'd been in my kayak this year, and the first time ever I'd taken it away from Silver Lake.  We went to a shallow, calm dammed up part of the AuSable River and had an incredibly peaceful and leisurely time.  It was lovely, and I realized that part of what was so nice about it was being somewhere that wasn't Silver Lake.  Oh what a traitor, but the variety was special and good.  I may go paddling with Linda's company from Ohio, down a section of the Saranac River.  Better hurry up and do it, they're not here forever.

Last week was busy--summer busy.  Lots of dinners with friends, all very nice visits.  How did I spend my days?  It was hot and humid and I didn't do much.  I stayed at the boat house a few times, have slept there for the last 3 nights because night temps were too high at home.  I was there this afternoon when a big thunderstorm came through, which is a grand thing to watch from the boat house porch.

I've been reading a lot--there's not much else to do in the boat house if you don't want to swim or paddle.  I read The orphan master's son, which won a Pulitzer Prize.  Yes, it was good, but did it stay with me the way some really great books do?  I don't think so but time will tell.  It's a novel about life in North Korea, so you can tell it's a real pick-me-up.  Well it was good.

Yesterday my cousin John (my only cousin on my mother's side), his wife and a former Hawkeye Trail camper came for the afternoon.  The camper (Josh) was interested in seeing how the camp looks these days so we walked around the buildings and he really, really enjoyed it.  Listening to his stories was funny because I could follow along, having been listening to camp stories for the last 20 or so years.  After the tour we had lunch on the boat house porch, they swam, then they climbed Silver Lake Mtn.--the boys did--while Annie (wife) and I visited and had a nice time.  It was good and I'm glad they came.  Funny I wasn't nervous or hyper about their coming, I just felt fine about having company.  Is this retirement?  Maturity?  Old age?

I got to spend a lot of time with Duncan and Sue while they were here, which was a real treat.  They'll be back at the end of August and will stay at least through September.  Yay!

I've been in touch with a second cousin, one of my favorite people.  We were close friends as kids and now he's in California trying to figure out what he wants to do and where he wants to do it.  He's a peach but has heart problems so has, I think, a very different feeling about life than I do.  We enjoy our emails, comparing lives and interpreting the past together.  I watched the lunar landing with him all those years ago.

I now have 8 healthy, active guppies.  They're very pretty, all males.  The man I got them from, who posted on FreeCycle, was very intense about these fish and the water they would be moving to.  I didn't scream at him "THEY'RE JUST GUPPIES!" and was very respectful of his wishes.  Until I got in the car to come home.  Anyway they seem pretty hardy and are fun to watch.

The dogs are fine.  Tess rarely limps but she sure does like to walk slowly, very slowly when we come home from walking to the mailbox.  Yes, thanks to Duncan I now have a mailbox by the road and get my mail delivered daily.  This was a big deal for me.  I appreciate his help sooooo much, hating as I do to ask for or receive help.  Some things I sure can't do on my own, though, and this was something I wanted desperately to have done.

This week is a quiet week.  Spent a short time with Linda at her campfire last evening, then home for dinner.  Tonight I'll stop by Pat & Jim's for a short visit then will eat at home.  Tomorrow I'm having dinner with friends who are up for 2 weeks, along with Pat.  Thursday Jim & Judy return so maybe I'll see them then, or else for sure later on.  Sunday is busy with Bill's version of our Sunday dinners, followed by book group in the evening.  Well I guess that doesn't sound too quiet, but it does leave me with a lot of time to do things like mow the lawn and get my house in order.  I have 2 closets upstairs and haven't looked in them for years so I'm hoping to empty at least one of them.  I know the dress I wore at my wedding is in one of the--a size 2 from Talbot's, and that can be tossed.

It's summer and it's great.  I love this life.  This thing called retirement is exceptional.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Dog day of July

It's hot today, and was hot yesterday.  There's a cool breeze, every once in a while.  The sun's out right now but it's supposed to rain hard this afternoon.  I have a friend coming for lunch, or after lunch, or sometime today.  I cleaned the living room (YAY) but it was more work than I was interested in doing so there's still dog hair on the floor and dust on some surfaces.  It's endless, this housekeeping thing.

It was a busy week, now is quieter I think.  Thursday Linda & I went to Platts. to run errands and have some fun.  Thursday night I had dinner with Annie Holt, always a treat.  Her brother + cousin plus wives were there and it was a nice occasion.

Friday morning I had coffee with Fred and Linda on Fred's porch, looking out at the lake.  It was cold, well, cool, not cold, and the no-see-ums were out but that didn't stop us and we went out to breakfast after visiting a while.

Friday Jenica came with her family and summer visitors, staying in the boat house for the night. We visited and had dinner at Hot Dog Man.  Food there is not good except for the ice cream but it was a simple solution to eating something, and we got to sit in the shade at a picnic table.  Very nice.  Gwyn is very cute and reminds me a lot of Jenica at that age, walking around and interested in so many things.

Saturday morning was coffee with Fred yet again, after which was the annual family meeting.  A lot of cousins in attendance, 4 generations represented.  It was peaceful, which it mostly is these years.  We made no major decisions, really, and determined that things at camp are pretty much OK except for the roof and the post supporting the porch.  Those things need attention.  One cousin brought his tractor from Syracuse and, with others did a huge amount of work on the road to camp.  It had washed out in a lot of places so this was a great thing to have done.  Road is now in good shape.  I'd love to have the tractor make a visit to my driveway but I don't like to ask.

Lunch after the meeting with lots of visiting, then rest time and I came home.  Linda had a nice 4th of July party, lots of good food and company.  Holly and Chris are here and I really like being with them.  I didn't stay long--was tired from the family time.

Sunday morning we had Holly join us at Fred's, which was nice.  We couldn't stay long because it was the morning of the road clean-up that the shoreowners' association does each year.  I got teamed with Fred and we had a good time and collected enough garbage to make it worth doing.  After the clean-up came the meeting and that was fine and didn't last long.

I stopped at Joe & Martha's, came home and got a call from Duncan.  It was the women's WORLD CUP and he & Sue were going to watch it at Linda's so I joined them.  That was great fun, with of course a great outcome.

Yesterday I had a really nice time with Duncan and Sue on their porch.  We visited a long time, which was really nice.  It was a beautiful morning, sunny and peaceful.  I went to Plattsburgh after that, had to pick up some things.  Nothing much of interest there.  I picked up prints of pictures I took of the cousins, none were noteworthy, really, but I'll send a bunch to my mother (labeled).  I had a quiet night, sitting in the house sweating and cleaning the living room.  Early to bed, slept very well in spite of the heat and humidity.

Tomorrow is Erdvilas' 70th birthday and Linda is having a party.  It will be nice, with a campfire and delicious food.  Good company.  Thursday Jenica & Justin arrive, here for the weekend with Justin's family at camp.  Hoping for good weather.

Things are good.  I am happy and rested after taking a bit of a break from family and friends.  This morning I cleaned and lunch is ready for my company (if she finds the house OK).  No plans for tonight so maybe I'll just relax.  The dogs went for a long walk just now and only Treasure came home.  I'm expecting a phone call from someone, telling me where she is.  Or maybe I'll get lucky and she'll find her own way home.  A girl can hope.

Monday, June 29, 2015

One more post in June

I was reminded by someone tonight that it's been a long time since I posted anything (she sent me an email saying "Are you still alive?").  Well that's true, and it's not because I've been too busy.  I fill the days but always have extra time.

I went to RI, came home last week.  I went down on Thursday and came home Monday, had a really nice time with lots of good visiting.  On Friday I drove Liza to town to take care of a bunch of errands.  Saturday we went to Champlin's to get lobsters and clams, then sat on the beach there for a while, very nice.  We went out for lunch then sat THERE on a bench looking at the boats for a while, also very nice.  Sunday was a quiet day, we just spent time together.  Mark & I walked the dogs on the URI campus in the morning.  It's become a beautiful campus, doesn't look much the way it did when I was there.  Lots of trees and lawns and new buildings.

The postmistress came to see me on Friday afternoon--we scoped out a new spot for my mailbox, out on the hardtop.  My friend Duncan is going to help me put it up, maybe tomorrow or Weds.  Meanwhile I still go to town for my mail.  How embarrassing is it to have the sort and hold your mail when all it is is junk mail?  Very embarrassing.  They're very nice at the post office but I bet they wonder just exactly WHEN I'll have a mailbox again.  Soon, folks, soon.

Northern NY has sure been in the news for the last 3 weeks.  What drama!  I wasn't afraid that the inmates would come here--they wouldn't want to head this way, in the opposite direction from Canada.  We've been entertained daily by CNN and local reports.  Now we just need to find out how it all happened.  Everyone here is relieved, now we can get on with our lives.

We had a big storm last week, very heavy wind and hard rain.  The lake level has risen, by one account it's risen 18" in the last month.  That sure seems like a lot but my dock is under water right now, and Linda's dock came apart and the frame is at water level.  Someone usually takes apart the beaver dams at the foot of the lake but that hasn't happened yet this year.  That would make a huge difference.

I went to Plattsburgh today, had lunch with Julie, a nice visit.  I bought too many things at Target and have to return some of them so will return to town on Weds. and have lunch with Barb then.  Thai today, Greek on Weds.  I picked up Duncan Sunday morning and we went to Plattsburgh for brunch, but the restaurant was closed so we ended up at Gus', with Bill and Fred.  It was nice but no fancy brunch.

I bought more flowers on Sat., the nursery is having a big sale before they dump everything.  I have to make up at least one more planter, will take that to the boat house.  I brought back some plants from RI--physostegia, gooseneck loosestrife and a rose bush.  The rose bush was part of a bush we took from the house I lived in more than 30 years ago in RI.  I had a big one here but it has pretty much died, crowded by blackberry bushes.  I'm hoping this new bush will like it here as much as the old one did before the blackberries came along.  It's a tea rose, smells fantastic.

Tomorrow I go to Westport for Tess' medicine ($75 a month if I buy it at the vet's--I need to start buying it online), plus I need to get heartworm meds and flea repellent for both dogs.  That will cost a LOT of money.  The mosquitoes are pretty bad so I don't mind getting the heartworm med.

This Saturday is the Rogers family meeting and cousins are starting to arrive.  I haven't been to camp since last week (these are not my favorite cousins) but will probably go down later this week to say hello.  Too many people there for me, and one of them makes a huge fuss about keeping my dogs out of main camp.  So much for "we all need to get along."  I just avoid them.

The dogs are doing well.  Tess limps sometimes but I took her down to Duncan's the other day and she was fine.  I walked her on a leash, that's what I do with her now.  She can almost run but not really--she tries sometimes, then sort of shrugs and starts walking instead.

There was a moose sighting between here and Saranac Lake--Linda saw one coming home one night at dusk.  It ran across the road in front of her on the Alder Brook Road.  Very exciting.  We saw a blackburnian warbler at her camp the other day, a very pretty bird and fun to see.  Mostly we have goldfinches and purple finches, with an occasional nuthatch.  Linda had a cedar waxwing in her trees recently and today she saw a catbird.  That's rare here.  The robin who nests in my upstairs window has hatched 4 young ones and I can hear the peep peep peep when she shows up to feed them.  Very noisy.

The sun is supposed to shine tomorrow morning so maybe I'll mow the lawn.  Maybe.