Monday, September 04, 2017

Now September

WHERE HAVE I BEEN???
Not really been anywhere, just going along.  August went by quickly without any significant events or drama.  I spent time with Linda on her dock, that was always a treat.  We watched the loons--the young loon now has a white breast and is diving along with the parents though they seem to still be feeding him the fish they catch.

I'm still walking with Carol, we walk outside in good weather.  We have our favorite routes, either the bog boardwalk here by my house or the road near hers or old logging roads in both places.  We try to take Bear and sometimes Treasure along but he is bad bad bad on a leash so when we walk roads with cars on them he stays home or in the car.  One morning I left him in the car with Treasure and they both howled and screamed as Carol & I walked away.  OMG they sounded like a pack of coyotes wailing away.  Luckily we don't go places where there are other people.  What a racket they made!  We could hear them far far away.

My college friend Ted came to visit in August, that was a treat.  He lives in Conn. and came last year.  We laugh a lot and talked very little about the past so that was nice.  Last year was his first visit to my house and mostly we only relived the past.  We went to Lake Placid, he likes to go there, and we sat on the boat house porch, I like to sit there, and we went out for dinner one night and breakfast one morning.  It was a nice time.

There are still summer friends here so I've been visiting.  It was a fairly quiet summer as summers in Hawkeye go, not as much socializing as some years.  That's OK, we know we all care about each other and are happy to be together.  Duncan and Sue will arrive this week and stay through the month (I hope).  Others have left or will leave soon but there will be friends here into October.

My big excitement is my trip to my Homeland--I'm going to the Midwest this week to visit with my Rockford friends.  We'll stay in Lake Geneva, Wisc. and have a good time being old friends.  I fly out from Burlington on Weds., return on Sunday.  Some years there are 15 of us, some years more and some years fewer.  I'm looking forward to being with these women, although our lives are very different and we've taken different paths into adulthood we care about each other and have fun together.  These are friends from elementary school, junior high school and high school, all of us turning 65 this year.  What a surprise I found in my mail the other day: my Medicare card!  Boy did that make me feel old!  Anyway, this group of women gets together every few years and it's a joy to be with them.

I'm boarding the dogs while I'm gone.  It's Bear's first time at this kennel and I hope he does well.  He's a sweet boy but does NOT like other male dogs, plus he barks some times.  Treasure is a perfect lady and has been to the kennel several times so I know she'll be just fine.  Bear is a good dog but I'm a little nervous about kenneling him.  He's crate trained so should be fine.  Oh yes, just fine.

The weather has been up and down, cold and warm (not really hot).  We had temps in the 30's the other night, now it's 62 with some sun.  The fall color is coming fast, whatever that means.  We always try to guess how the color will be--will it be a brilliant year?  Will there be much color?  Any reds?  Mostly yellows?  We're not good at predicting and no matter what we hope for it's always beautiful.  I do love this time of year.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Still August

August is moving right along.  I've been busy but not overwhelmed.  Right now I'm waiting for my friend from college to arrive--he's driving from Conn., was here last year and we had a good time.  He'll be here this afternoon and we'll maybe go to the boat house to sit on the porch and visit a while.  I have no plans beyond that, he likes Lake Placid so we may go there tomorrow in the rain.  Today is a nice sunny day, temp is 62.  It was 52 earlier but is sizing up to be a great day.  I should be mowing the lawn and pulling weeds but nooooo I'm hanging out.

I've spent most of this week cleaning my house because I did no cleaning all summer.  The dust!  The cobwebs!  The dog hair!  My oh my what a messy house I had/have.  It's cleaner now but still cluttered.

I've been having a busy time, lots of dinners with good friends.  I was visiting with friends who have a porch right on the water the other night and we had a huge, huge storm.  It poured so hard that we had to shout to hear each other, but it was just wonderful and of course after that there was a rainbow on the far shore.  Very pretty.

I've been walking with Carol pretty regularly.  We either walk from my house down the hardtop or we walk from her driveway down another road.  That road is tough walking though because it's uphill all the way home.  Great exercise.

I took my contractor friend down to camp to look over the situation with the main building, which seems to be leaning.  No, not SEEMS to be, IS leaning.  One of my cousins was there so that was a relief for me, he could ask the questions and listen to the answers.  My assignment was to find a contractor to submit a bit for the work.  Whew, I did that.  This is the woman who built the boat house and does wonderful work so I'm totally pleased to have her look it over.  She's not sure she'll put in a bid but it's so nice to have that task taken care of.

I've had a couple of nice dock days with Linda but none of our perfect dock days when it's hot, calm and quiet.  Those come in September.

The dogs are fine but yesterday Bear found his way to some children renting a camp down the hill from my house.  He had a great time and they walked him home, very nice kids.  I made brownies and took them to the kids and Bear was thrilled to see them again.

Not much else going on.  Life is good.  I have no big plans for the rest of August but in September I head back to the Homeland--visits with my Rockford friends.  I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Busy time

I'd forgotten that August is such a busy time in Hawkeye.  I always consider July's weather to be the best of the summer but I often forget that it's August that is hot and humid and escapable elsewhere.  We had a fairly miserable bunch of weather in July and August seems to be sort of variable but mostly days with sun, no, rain, no, sun, no drizzle, no, hot.  On it goes.  I guess I missed one of the best dock days of the year yesterday--I went to the boat house (I've been staying at home) to enjoy the day but then it clouded over and was windy so I came home.  As soon as I got home it got sunny, still and hot (too hot to enjoy my deck) so I did indoor chores.  But not very many of them, it would seem when I look around my house.  I have company coming next week so I'd better hustle and do some serious cleaning and straightening up.  I haven't had a very industrious summer AT ALL and things are out of control.

I had dinner with friends the other night, made a delicious vegetable tian--verified delicious by others so I didn't have to rely on my own evaluation.  Tonight I had dinner with other friends and took a good salad, verified by my own evaluation.  Tomorrow I'm dining with other friends (I guess that would really be tonight, since it's 1:30 now) and Monday dining with other friends.  What's up with that???  I've had a fairly quiet summer socially but all hell seems to be breaking loose now.  I have a friend coming to visit from Conn. on Thursday.  I don't know how long he'll stay for but I do know that I have some real work to do to get ready.  I don't even know where to begin!

The dogs are fine, getting along and settled in.  Bear still wants Treasure to play with him A LOT and very roughly but she prefers a quiet approach to entertainment.  They do run around the yard together from time to time but mostly she just makes unpleasant noises at him and he leaves her alone.  So maybe it wasn't the wisest thing for me to get another dog after Tess died, and maybe I would be better off with only one dog, but this is the balance I've achieved for now.

I'm still walking in the mornings with a friend.  We walk outside now that it's summer, either down the road near my house or down the road near her house.  I saw my doctor recently and yes, my cholesterol levels are very good, and my lung capacity has improved a lot but no I haven't lost weight since I last saw him.  boo.

Friday, August 04, 2017

August already

 Loon baby (we call him Fluffy) with a parent, probably the mother, off of the boat house.  They're very vocal this year.  Fluffy makes some pretty funny sounds attempting to warble or yodel.


OK, to be truthful this picture was taken in July, but it suits August as well.  This is the view from the boat house.  Very, very pretty.

I've been busy but not too busy.  Lots of time spent with Linda sunning on her dock and swimming together.  Plenty of trips to Plattsburgh for lunches with good friends.  Walking with Carol outside on beautiful summer mornings.  Visits with summer friends aplenty, all really nice.

Today I walked with Carol, then talked to my mother for an hour.  She's fine but (as always) minds very much being so old.  She doesn't have the energy of, say, an 80-year-old and she minds this.  At 91 she's most impressive and doing very well.

I'm having lunch with a friend in Plattsburgh today, then will get some groceries and supplies.  Tomorrow morning is a walk with Carol then coffee with friends then in the afternoon a meeting of the shoreowners' association.  A chance to visit with lake neighbors and work on some of the things that concern us.  This organization is nearly 50-years-old and has accomplished a lot in its history.  I hope to write a comprehensive history of it, I'm the keeper of many of the old papers and archives and sorted through them recently.  It's a most impressive history, I think.

Sunday I'm hosting book group and will roast a big fat chicken to serve in the boat house.  There will be people in camp so I'll do most of the dinner prep at my house.  That's easy.

The dogs are just fine.  Bear love love loves to launch himself off the dock to retrieve sticks.  He's a great swimmer and I love that because it's a good way to wear him out in the evening.  That means, of course a wet bed but it's worth it I think.  Treasure is doing well and sometimes even allows herself to enjoy running around with Bear.

My sister made it safely home to Naples.  I miss her, what a really nice 3 weeks we had together.

Summer marches on.  Fall approaches.  I have cucumbers on my deck and have even eaten a few.  They're tasty all right.

My thoughts are with my Midwestern friends as one undergoes surgery for a brain tumor today.  I'll be visiting with them in September.  Another friend was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Life is complicated but I am a very lucky woman.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Post Vacation Post

This was my sister on the beach in RI. 

I've had a busy and wonderful last 3 weeks.  Lucky me!  I picked up my sister in Montreal on the 29th of June (she flew in from Naples) and we got to spend three uninterrupted weeks together.  I took her back to Montreal on Friday (7/21) so she could fly to Vancouver to be with her husband and daughter.  How did we spend all those days together?  With cousins, then with my niece and her family and my mother, then alone here at Silver Lake.  What a grand time it all was.  I had the dogs with me the whole time and Bear bonded with Molly (who is a great dog trainer, which is what he responds to).  Our 10 days in RI were great with much visiting and some taking care of motherly business.  We got to the beach a few times but the waves were mostly too big for me to swim comfortably so I mostly just jumped in the waves and waded.  My mother is wonderful and in great health but it was hard to say goodbye.

Meanwhile back in Hawkeye we spent a week in the boat house together.  Actually the first 2 nights we were back we stayed at my house because it was rainy and cold.  Then we settled right in at the lake.  We visited with lots of my friends, hosted some, had morning coffee with people.  Lots of swimming--and I discovered that Bear is indeed a retrieving retriever.  He loves to jump off the dock into water to chase tennis balls or sticks.  He's a bit weak on delivering them back to me but he drops them nearby.  Molly and I had lots of gorgeous sunrises together and took turns cooking dinners.  It was all grand.

Now I'm alone, the last cousin left today so camp is empty.  I was very sad after taking Molly to Montreal, stayed at home that night but then returned to the boat house.  Today I visited with the neighbors and then mowed my lawn.  YIKES!  I actually mowed my lawn.  I didn't do a very thorough job but it sure looks better.  In need of more attention for sure but an improvement.  What's next?  I think I'll head back to the boat house for the night.  Tomorrow is a dump day, I have the fridge in the boat house and the one here at home to clean out.  Lots of dump material.  One day this week I think I'll have lunch with Julie, maybe.  Carol is out of town until Thursday so I'll not be walking with her mornings.  We did pick up walking last week and did pretty well.  I may walk without her but that's not historically what I do.  Who knows.

Silver Lake is in full summer season swing.  Yesterday afternoon there were many, many, many jet skis and boats in the afternoon.  We have a pair of parental loons that spend a lot of time in front of our camp with their young 'un.  Lots of fun to keep track of them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FAT dog

I took the dogs to the vet this afternoon, time for their annual visits.  It was Bear's grand opening at this vet's and he was a big hit.  Very well behaved and charming so he got lots of treats.  Treasure was less enthusiastic about being there and I found out why when she was weighed: she's gained SEVEN pounds in the last year.  Wow, for a 50-pound-dog that is a lot, a whole lot.  I was giving Tess a lot of treats and extra food at the end of her life and I guess I hated to leave Treasure out so she puffed right up.  No more of that!  I'll cut back on her food and give her half a treat instead of a whole one.  She won't notice.

The vet told me of a study that found that Labs are lacking the part of the brain that humans have to let us know when we've had enough to eat and feel full.  HAH, who didn't know that?  These 2 dogs are the piggiest eaters I've ever had but they're wonderful.

Other than the vet visit there's not much to report.  I've been busy and visiting a lot with friends.  Still going to the gym at 6:30 in the mornings with Carol.  Actually we've been walking outside quite a bit, just recently returning to the gym.  We've walked around AuSable and around Carol's driveway, which is near here.  The other day we had a great walk on an old logging road through the woods on Carol's property.  It was wonderful.  Bear joined us and was good about being off the leash.  He stuck around for the most part and came when he was called.

It's been very hot and humid, too hot to do much.  Now it's cooler and less humid but is rainy.  Some real downpours today, a thunderstorm the other day.  I have good friends and one fixed my lawn mower then mowed most of my lawn when it was returned.  Wow, how lucky can a girl get?  I've been waiting to finish the mowing, it was too hot and now it's too rainy.  Thursday is the designated "nice day" this week so hopefully I'll get that taken care of.

I had a nice time in the boat house during the hot days.  Bear loves to swim and has convinced Treasure to go further into the water than she used to.  Sometimes she actually swims but then she acts as if that was a terrible mistake.

Book group is at the boat house on Sunday.  We're reading a Liane Moriarty book about triplets that's enjoyable.  More summer people arrive this week and it will be fun to see them.  MY SISTER comes next week!  That's very exciting.  Our family's annual gathering is on the 1st of July and we're hosting this year so Jenica, Molly and I will be busy.   Not sure how many people we'll feed lunch to but I figure maybe 20-25.  Hard to tell but not a big deal.

Life is good, very good.  I have my flowers, cukes and tomatoes planted and they all look pretty good.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Summer at last

We've had sooooo much rain (I heard recently that we've had 18", double our usual amount) but yesterday and today were marvelous summer (or pre-summer) days.  I spent time sitting on my deck reading in the sun yesterday morning--that's a very favorite pastime.  The black flies were in evidence but the swarming didn't happen.  Deer flies were out, though, and when I did some actual gardening they were biting like mad.  I planted flowers in the ground, weeded a fair amount and transplanted the overbearing globe thistle plant so the snakeroot/cohosh/whatever it is could get more sun and have more room to grow.  That was successful.  I tried to mow the lawn but dinged the deck of the mower getting it out of the shed so the blade won't turn.  Today I dropped it off at a friend's house--he fixed it masterfully for me in the fall and I'm embarrassed to have trouble with it again but maybe he can work his magic again.

Today I went to Plattsburgh--haircut, groceries, liquor store, lunch and bought some dirt.  It IS pretty funny to pay money for dirt but I'm covering the grass-filled area that used to be a garden and am planting some annuals as well as tomatoes and cukes there.  So I buy dirt.

I slept in the boat house last night and it was wonderful.  The moon was incredibly bright.  It was a tad chilly but mostly it was just lovely.  Bear is now mine, the AKC transfer has taken place and his microchip has been re-registered to me.  He is wonderful and is very happy here.  He doesn't roam, not even when he and Treasure are out together.  He didn't much like sleeping in the boat house, yet another change of scene for the poor boy.  He whined a while but once he realized that Treasure was sleeping on the bed he settled down near her.  They get along but she hasn't endorsed him yet.  He is very fond of her and they do run around together a bit.  He's a swimmer (a REAL Lab!) and insisted of cuddling up against me in all his wetness last night in bed, to make sure I didn't sneak out while he wasn't paying attention.

I've left them together in the house unchaperoned for 7 hours at one spell and they were just fine.  I never did crate him, didn't put the crate together and he's been happy and well.  He did get into the back of the car the other day and ate a package of cube steak.  I worried that he had eaten the styrofoam so peroxided him royally and he (poor boy) had to relinquish his special treat.  I later found the styrofoam intact, he didn't eat any of it after all.  Oh well, I was pissed that he ate what was going to be my dinner that night.

Linda's docks have gone in and she had a dock day today while I was in Plattsburgh.  We had porch coffee this morning and that was nice.  I'll head down there in a little while for either docktails or maybe just porchtails if it rains, as it might.

I'm back into the gym routine now that Carol has returned from her vacation.  Man does that feel good!  We meet at 6:30 and treadmill away.  It hasn't really been nice enough to walk outside and we also know that we get better exercise on treadmills than walking.

Life is good.  Summer might come after all.