Tuesday, July 26, 2016

 ROGERS WOMEN!  Here are my sister, my mother and me in the front garden at my mother's house.  We had a very nice visit, lots of relaxation and reading and spending time together.  I'm going back in mid-August, when Mark will be on vacation.  I'm going to "help" him but really am hoping mostly for beach days.




My sister took this shot of a calm morning on Silver Lake.  I love it.

Right now it's 3:30 a.m. and I'm at home.  I was sleeping in the boat house but woke at 2 and couldn't get back to sleep so the dogs egged me on and I came home.  Television is my best sleep-aid (OK, maybe not my BEST, there are magic drops from Italy that help) so I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm off to Plattsburgh in the early morning, a quick trip for blood work and to get dog food.  Then what?  Home, maybe mow the lawn but definitely finish cleaning the boat house and camp after cooking dinner for book group Sunday.  We barely mentioned the books (Boys in the boat and Little women) but had  nice time anyway.  Marylou brought the most excellent mango salsa and pesto (I could have eaten tubs and tubs of both of those things, wow were they good.  Thank you, Andy.

Today was not particularly productive, but I had a good time.  Road trip with F.,  AuSable and a couple of farm stands in Peru.  Got some excellent corn, wow.  Finally found some pickling cukes but only a few for sandwiches, not enough yet for pickling.  This year I'm making million dollar pickles again, they were a big success last year.

Trying to get ready for upcoming family time--cousins coming to camp this weekend, more and more cousins arriving next week for the annual meeting/gathering.  This means it's AUGUST (almost). 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Busy season

It sure is summer in Hawkeye, wow has it been busy.  Camps are full, swimming is great, dock time if wonderful.  I had a good week but am ready for a quiet break I think, and that's what today may be.

My Dish technician came last Sunday--the TV wasn't giving me all it could.  Oh yes, there was a problem: branches blocking the signal.  Duh, boy did I feel silly.  He cut the branches and wow, now all is well.  He was very nice, has 2 Labs (of course, doesn't everyone?) and is interested in maybe returning in the fall to hunt deer on my land (with my encouragement). I slept in the boat house, with loud loons on the lake.

Monday was a Plattsburgh day, haircut and lunch with Barb, plus some groceries.  Not a bad day at all.  Visited with Linda & F. after that, then it rained (much needed).

Tuesday it was 47 when I got up.  I set 4 mouse traps, having a stable mouse population in the bathroom (the bathroom???).  All 4 were licked clean but not sprung, so I'm just fattening up the little boogers.  I had coffee with friends, twice.  J&M reported following a moose down the hardtop, not far from OHR.  Jimmy says there are moose tracks in the road not far from my driveway.  I almost hit a huge deer in my driveway.  A HUGE deer.  A STUPID deer.  The deer have feasted on my hostas and lily buds but I blame myself for not spraying as I had intended--Liquid Fence is a great repellent.

Big excitement this week was my sighting of an indigo bunting!  I've wanted to see one for many, many years.  Most of the people I know who work in the woods have reported many sightings, but I've never seen one.  This one was flying across the road in front of me.  Wow what a treat.

Great dock time with Linda this week, a couple of swell afternoons.  One afternoon we swam and swam, laughed and splashed a lot.  Just a couple of fat old ladies having water fun.  It has been hot (by Hawkeye standards), was nearly 90 yesterday.  I was in Plattsburgh for many hours, leaving the dogs at home in a very warm house.  I can't leave the front door open when I'm not home so there's no effective cross breeze for them.  Today I promised I'd spend many hours with them and so far I've been true to that.

I finally got on a mouse elimination roll and have killed 5 in the bathroom so far.  How many are there?  Anyone's guess, but many friends are having mouse infestations this summer.  It's strange to have them indoors this time of year, they don't usually come in until it cools off in the fall.

Right now Bill's work crew is stacking the last of my firewood in 90-degree heat.  Lucky me!  I bought 6 cords this year, still having some left from last winter.  My stove is efficient, burns less and gives off more heat, so I'm burning less each winter.

This week looks pretty quiet, I have to go to Plattsburgh to have bloodwork done, and Weds. is a birthday celebration for a friend (yeah, as if I'd celebrate the birthday of a non-friend).   I did not watch the Republicans in Cleveland, doubt that I'll watch the Democrats this week but you never know.  Tomorrow is a double-duty social day.  Brunch at 1 and book group at the boat house in the evening.  Can it be true that August is coming soon?  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Home again at last

This was yesterday's sunrise.  I got up at 5 this morning, hoping for a repeat, but it was cloudy and gray instead. 

It's been a busy 3 weeks.  My sister flew into Montreal at the end of June and I picked her up there.  How great to be together again.  We had some time at camp to ourselves, no one else was there and it was wonderful.  Good enough weather.  We hit the social highlights, saw pretty much everyone, and swam a lot.  The boat house dock isn't in this year, but that isn't really an issue.  We use the main dock, or get in on the rocks at the boat house.  The water was cool in June but is warmer now, very nice.

One of my cousins lives in the Finger Lakes ad she & Molly wanted to see each other so Molly & I drove to her house on Owasco Lake and spent the night.  It was fine  but I was a nervous wreck about having the dogs there.  Treasure, of course, took off as soon as we got there.  They live on a point, far from the road, so it was worrisome but not too bad.  She ran around a bit then came back to the house.  We had a good visit, complete with a nice boat ride.  We left the morning of 4th of July weekend, yikes what a mess that turned out to be.  The traffic in Conn. was awful, which wouldn't have been much of a real problem for me except that the rear brakes of my car crapped out and were grinding the whole time.  I was a wreck but of course we made it to Rhode Island just fine.  We spent 10 days at my mother's and it was very good.  The weather was just what we expected, some hot and humid and some rain.  We went to the beach 3 times, swam in the very cold ocean and had a nice time.

My mother's sister died at the end of June and there was a memorial service in Lexington, Mass., which we went to.  My mother wrote a eulogy, which Molly delivered.  The service was fine, both Molly and I were very emotional.  This was my mother's only sister and even though she was 93 it was still very sad.  I think I was especially emotional because I was thinking of my 90-year-old mother. 

The beach we went to was my mother's town beach (one of 2)--newly re-opened, no lifeguard, food or bathrooms, so not many people there.  It's a wonderful place, next to a wildlife preserve and totally uncrowded.  Waves not too big, water a perfect (cool) temperature.  Boy did we have some good beach days.  That was grand.

Molly and I came back on Monday, an easy drive home.  We had more days at camp without company and we totally enjoyed it.  My cousin John came on Tuesday to visit (it was his mother who died), we had a good time with him.  Wednesday was Molly's last day in the states so we didn't do much, lots of sitting around reading, swimming, napping, enjoying each other.  Thursday afternoon I drove her to the Montreal airport and away she went, back to Italy.  I miss her and am slowly getting used to my "regular" life.  It's summer in Hawkeye and there are lots of people here so my social life is rapidly picking up.

Yesterday I had coffee and breakfast with Fred and Linda, dinner last night with Bill & Fred.  This morning I had coffee and a visit with Duncan and Sue, then went to Keene to see Julie.  Tonight Duncan and Sue are having a few people over to see the work that's been done on their camp.  After that I'll return to the boat house for a quiet night.

I had a great time with my dog breeder this week.  Some friends have a puppy from her and they had Sue come to help with training of the pup, who is now 8 months old.  I was the stranger who arrived at their camp to see if the pup would jump on me so they could correct that behavior.  He didn't jump on me, but I had taken Treasure along so the Sue could see her again--she hadn't seen her for almost 5 years.  Treasure acted as the distraction so they could teach the pup to COME even though he was distracted--very distracted by Treasure.  I learned a lot about training and had a nice visit with Sue.  I just love being with her, she knows so much about dogs it's fascinating talking to her.  That was a highlight of my week.

Tomorrow morning a technician is coming to fix the cabling for my satellite dish so my TV will be normal again.  The last time a tech came he said he could fix the problem then but not the next time.  Well, hello "next time."  Don't know if it will be the same tech or not, but I bet he will have to go under the house to work on the cables.  Yuck.

So I miss my sister but we were lucky to have so much time alone together.  Is "alone together" right?  Can you be alone if you're together?  Anyway, it was just the two of us for several days and we loved it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cool, man, cool

And when it cools off here boy does it cool off.  t was 47 this morning, only got up to the 60's and it was windy and rainy with occasional sun.  Brrr.  Not complaining, I try hard not to complain about the weather.

I had a nice morning, coffee with Fred and Linda, then we went out for breakfast.  The food wasn't great but we had a good time.  It rained hard while we were out and about, rained less during the day after that.  I went to our favorite produce place, stopping in AuSable on the way.  I went to the cemetery and deadheaded the geraniums on graves.  The plants look surprisingly well considering the neglect that's been showered on them.

I actually dozed this afternoon, cuddled with a dog under a comforter on the couch.  Nice, very nice.  It was too cold and wet to do much outdoors so I settled for a non-productive day.  Oh, yes, that's a rare thing for me, right?

I was supposed to "help" train a puppy that some friends got from my breeder today but the session was cancelled because of the rain.  It was rescheduled for next week, when MY SISTER will be here.  I need help saying no to invitations: these friends invited us for dinner while Molly is here, I managed to say no to that, but instead we're having lunch with them.  So far we have commitments for Sunday lunch, Monday lunch and Tuesday dinner.  That doesn't cover everyone, not by a long shot.  I'll do my best to head off invitations but I'm notoriously bad at that.

I stayed in the boat house 2 nights, the first was Sunday, when it was hot oh so hot.  Linda and I went to the farmers market Sunday morning, which was great.  Didn't get much stuff but it was good to be there and I saw friends.

On Monday Linda and I had a grand dock day but it was very windy.  90 degrees but a cool wind so sitting in the sun was pleasant.  We swam a few times in very cold but refreshing water.  So cold that you don't ever get used to it, but it feels wonderful when the sun is hot.

Monday night we had an incredible storm with huge amounts of lightning.  The storm didn't hit us directly, it seemed to be on the other side of the mountain.  I watched and watched the lightning from the boat house porch, getting wet because the rain blew all the way across the porch.  A tree came down on OHR, by the hardtop and the Highway Dept. cleaned it up around 7 a.m. yesterday.

I've been visiting with friends and neighbors, getting into the summer swing.  Cocktails with Joe & Martha, dinners with Linda & Erdvilas, visiting with Pat & Jim.  Lots of couples in my life, not many singles.

Tomorrow may be lunch with Barb and some shopping in prep of Molly's arrival.  She flies in to Montreal Saturday afternoon so I'll see her then.  Looking forward to some quality sister time.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hot and hot

We're having summer again.  It's been getting progressively warmer every day and today we're approaching TOO hot for me.  I've had nice times sitting on my deck and sitting on Linda's dock, but now it's time to head to the lake.  This afternoon I'll sit with Linda on her dock, tonight I'll sit on the boat house porch and maybe I'll even sleep there.  June nights this year are cool, temps in the 40's when I get up so I haven't been staying by the water.  That will change for the next few days, though.

It was a rough week for my mother--her sister Louise died on Wednesday.  She was 93 and had Alzheimer's, died rather suddenly.  She had been ailing for maybe 2 weeks and just slipped away.  I've been talking to my mother every day, she's progressing from feeling very sad to thinking of memories with her sister and family.  I remember my aunt fondly, she was a warm and happy person.  Her son, my cousin John, my mother and I are working on an obituary (my mother doesn't have email so John sends me things and I read them to my mother; additionally John will call me with messages and information for my mother, he finds it harder to talk to my mother because it's a very emotional thing for both of them).  Tomorrow I'll call my mother again and we'll go over our editing of the text John sent me today.  The funeral will be in Lexington, Mass. the second weekend in July, when my sister and I will be in Rhode Island.  That will be good, we can take my mother and probably Mark will go as well.  My mother's delivering a eulogy, she was pleased, I think to have been asked.

What else is going on with me?  Busy social activities.  Dinners, lunches, yoga.  I cooked delicious lobsters, clams and mussels for friends.  Man can those people eat a lot of shellfish!  I thought there would be leftover clams but I was wrong.  Which was good I think.  I cleaned the house gradually so there was no great flurry of activity on the day of the dinner.  What a grand thing!  I'm still getting used to having so much free time, am used to cleaning for a few hours at a time to get everything ready the day of a dinner. 

This afternoon I'm going to Linda's, to sit on her dock and look across the lake with our binoculars.  There aren't too many people on the lake yet but there are a few boats and jet skis on weekends.  Ugh, we much prefer the silence of weekdays.  Hard to believe the 4th of July is 2 weeks away.

My sister comes in a week.  I've done a little to get the boat house ready, will spend more time there this week cleaning and setting up.  Water in camp is a problem (or non-existent) and the boat house dock has not been put in.  Molly and I can't do that so we'll either use the camp dock or just get in the water from shore, over the rocks.  Not a huge deal but boy it is nice to have a dock.

My niece Jenica is going to CUBA!   She's going with a library contingent to set up a program, will be there for a week.  That is so exciting, and I'm so proud of her.  What a great thing. 

My friends are well.  I am well.  My dog is old but well.  My other dog is ripping apart the cushion on the couch whenever I leave her alone at home.  ratpig.  I have all of my wood for the winter delivered and paid for but not stacked.  That comes later.  Getting it is step 1, paying for it step 2, stacking happens when other people do it.

The coming week looks quiet (so far).  How great is that?

Monday, June 13, 2016

How long has it been?

I had made a promise to myself that I would write for this blog at least twice a week.  I also made a promise to myself that I would do 3 things every day.  So how's that working out? 

I've been busy, mostly with a social life.  I keep a wall calendar and write salient appointments, lunches, events on it.  The first half of June looks pretty full.  Lots of lunches with Julie (one a week), yoga every Tuesday night with Julie, lunch with Barb, dinner with Linda, dinner with Anne, dinner with J&M.  So mostly it seems to be about food, in my life.

I did take the dogs to the vet for their annual visits.  My nice, homespun, local vet sold his practice to a big corporate-style practice so it's not what it used to be.  The office I've been going to or 30 years is in Westport, the vet I've seen is not often there, and prices have risen dramatically.  I've been thinking of switching to another vet but it's so hard to sever ties.  Anyway, I took both dogs and they passed with flying colors.  Tess was miserable, wouldn't sit still, struggled and squirmed and finally fell off the exam table.  Treasure was a perfect patient.  I asked the vet which dog she thought I had trained, and which I got as an adult, already-trained dog.  Huh.  She doesn't know me terribly well but sure could guess that Treasure was NOT a product of the ESRogers Training Program.  It was all fine, they got their shots, had blood tests, I got meds to bring home, all for $500.  I guess I should be putting away $50 a week for next year's visit.  Both dogs weigh a mere 53 pounds, which is great.  Tess lost 5 pounds during the year so she gets even more treats and biscuits now that she's 13.

My yoga skills aren't really improving, I only go once a week.  Some of the positions are not difficult for me but some are uncomfortable and unpleasant because my huge gut gets in the way.  There are a couple of positions where we're all pretzeled and bent over and I can barely breathe.  The teacher is very nice and doesn't make me feel like an inflated beach ball, and Julie and I are always right in front of her.  Yoga is like other classes, in which people always want to be in the same spot week after week.  We're the most recent joinees so planted ourselves in the front.  Brave of us, no?

The weather has been extremely crappy.  Temps in low 40's in the morning, lots of cold wind and plenty of clouds.  Some rain, which was nice for my plants.  I did get nearly all of my container planting done, I just have a few more plants to find a place for.  I planted nasturtium and cucumber seeds, as well as moonflowers and morning glories.  They've all come up but there's one pot that I thought I planted nasties in but there's no sign of life so maybe I forgot to put any seeds in the dirt.  I'll give it a little more time but it sure looks stoopid.

I have some transplanting to do--I brought back some evening primroses from RI, must plant them, and I have to dig up the giant globe thistle plant that's crowding and blocking the snakeweed plant that I really like.  Last year I dug up the thistle and moved it but that only encouraged the remaining growth and now it's huge.

We had a really nice Belmont party but none of us picked the race winner.  The food was delicious, Linda made a great new Belmont cocktail, and it was a good evening.  I did think Exaggerator was going to win but I was wrong wrong wrong.

Book group met at Linda's and we spent (what for us was) a good amount of time discussing the unremarkable book.  We'll meet again at the end of July so we're reading 2 books this month, very unusual for us.  The books are The boys in the boat and Little women.  I've not read Little women and a looking forward to that.  I'll re-read the boys book, I wasn't as enthusiastic about it as pretty much everyone in the whole world was when I first read it.  What I'm reading now is the new Richard Russo book, Everybody's fool, which is a wonderful, wonderful book.  My only complaint is that it's long, very long, but things are moving right along.  Rich characters (most of whom we've already met) with fantastic plot twists.  Oh I love this book.

I went to an author luncheon last week, a local author who's a friend and former library director.  I bought the book Adirondack outlaws, to give to Joe because I thought he'd enjoy it.  While I was visiting Linda for a matter of minutes, mere minutes, Treasure ate the first 28 pages of the book.  I debated whether it was an appropriate gift, but decided to give it to Joe anyway.  Honestly, I'd had the book in the car for less than an hour before Treasure grabbed it.  What a ratpig.

I got to use my new cordless reciprocating saw yesterday, which was sooooo much fun.  I cut up a piece of plywood, putting one piece under the cushion of a Mission style chair and putting another piece under the broken couch that I've sworn to replace just as soon as, well, as soon as I can.  I threw out the dogs' favorite chair and replaced it with the Mission chair and they are not, so much not happy.  They approach the chair, look at it, look at me, then cross the room and get on the couch.  Oh the poor dears.

My sister comes in less than 2 weeks!  She's flying to Montreal on the 25th so I'll pick her up there and we'll spend 4 or 5 days here before heading to a cousin's house in the Finger Lakes, then on to RI for 10 days before returning here for a couple of days.  How will it be to be with my sister for 3 weeks?  Fine, fine and wonderful.  We each know that we need alone time, so there will be plenty of that mixed with good visiting.  I have some work to do in the boat house before she comes but it's just too cold to want to get to that.  Supposed to warm to the 80's late this week so maybe I'll really get that taken care of.  I need sunshine before I can get much outdoor work or boat house work done.  That's just how I am.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Where did it go?

I don't know where the week went.  Day by day I got things done, saw people, had fun.  The weekend was busy, the Holts were here, there was a dinner at J&M's, and I did a lot of planting.  I have almost all of my flowers planted in containers on the deck, with still some cosmos and cleome to plant in the ground and enough flowers for one more container.  I bought more dirt--I've used more dirt this year than ever before, having a great time mixing it with cow manure in the wheelbarrow and filling the pots.

Coffee in the mornings with Linda and Fred, sometimes just Linda on her lakeside porch, sometimes at Fred's on his porch.  It was very hot, unpleasant for me and hard for me to be very productive.  It's cooled off a bit now but today is a big muggy and in the 70's.  We had a big rain storm on Sunday afternoon, complete with hail.  It poured and poured--so much that my sump pump got in on the action.

Tuesday I went to Plattsburgh, ran a few errands and had lunch with Julie.  That night we went to yoga class together.  Stretched muscles I don't usually stretch so I was a bit sore yesterday but am fine today.  I've been cleaning my house in prep. of dinner for Linda and Erdvilas--the original plan was to cook them a lobster dinner tomorrow night, but I've postponed that until next week.  Meanwhile I cleaned the living room and even vacuumed the rug.  Yikes. 

Yesterday I finally went to the cemetery to plant flowers on the dead people.  I had a ton of geraniums, plus some portulaca and lobelia for my father and brother.  The plot has no shade so there's not much I can plant there, every year it's geraniums.  Maybe this year I'll actually go to the cemetery during the summer and deadhead the plants.  maybe.

Today was a banner day, my friend showed up with his dump truck and we had a grand time filling it.  Boy did we fill it.  I had taken some things out of the mud room, and we cleared all the crud off of the deck (broken table, falling-apart planting table, broken this and broken that), plus we threw out the pieces of foamboard that were scattered around the side of the house.  I had him take away the huge chair in the living room, much to the dogs' dismay.  It was their favorite spot.  Too bad, I was so tired of that chair and it was falling apart.

Tomorrow is another Plattsburgh day, lunch with Barb and a few errands.  I hope to finish planting everything in the morning.  Hope to.  May.  Perhaps.  Stranger things have happened.  We had good rain this afternoon that watered everything so that was nice.  I think tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and not obnoxiously hot.

Saturday I'll probably get together with Julie, although there's a big bikefest that will close lots of the roads between her house and mine.  We'll see what we can do.

Apparently the docks and water were put in in camp on Monday.  I haven't been down there since I opened the boat house last week.  It wasn't the usual cousins who put in the docks so it will be interesting to see how it was done.  I guess I'm responsible for opening main camp and don't plan to do that until the end of the month, when my sister will be here to help me.  Sometimes people show up in June to use camp, but it won't be ready for them so SOMEONE ELSE will have to do it.  That would be grand.

I had the nicest morning today, just a pleasant time when I said I LOVE THIS LIFE.