Our own island

450A7A28-502C-491D-BC2F-E6F7F7CB9458That’s what it feels like at home. We are well stocked with the usual provisions- flour, butter, eggs, milk, coffee, but no chocolate. By default we gave it up. We’re only missing the ocean.

We are complying with New York’s PAUSE order. I work a bit at home. I get outside for an hour and a half a day and walk/run, listen to books, nature, practice french. I go offline a few hours every day.  My kids brag about grubhub and food (and wine) delivery in urban areas. Not here. We’re on our own.

I’ve been creative in the kitchen: irish soda bread 82B95CD2-34E0-427F-BB8F-4818DACC61B5and corned beef, rustic white bread, donuts, pecan pie. They will have to roll me out of here.

We’ve been retreating to the cabin, which brings solace.

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I’m ticking off my list of house projects, knitting, spinning, and quilting.

This little guy makes me laugh.

We wait. Thinking of those who have been touched by this and wishing them well. The mountains will remain.

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Waiting for the storm to blow by

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Happens all the time on islands and I wish that was where we were now. Gale force winds, high seas make travel impossible. Today… It’s sunny out, the wind is calm and travel is impossible. I feel like I am in a bubble waiting for a huge wave to pass over my head or for a fireball to go screaming past. Lack of testing means we will never know how many cases are nearby in our rural community but the bubble won’t last for long. Just got word that I won’t be seeing patients in the office for a while.

On the other hand, we are accomplished, self-isolators. There is plenty to keep us both occupied when we are not singing happy birthday and washing our hands. Tim built a beautiful bed for the guest room based on one we slept in at White Pine Camp. I helped. He coached me when I had to cut down the trees for it last winter when he had a broken wrist. (I made the quilt too, but that’s old news).

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I finished a bag I had been crocheting for months

4F653D44-FC13-477C-B31B-6714E97E22C8and started a new sweater. The kindle is loaded with good books, the wood box is full and I get to cook three meals a day.

Just like when we are on deserted islands.

Fire and Ice

One of the advantages of living near the site of two former Winter Olympics is that world class events often take place right in our backyard. Last week we watched speed skaters on the olympic oval where the 1932 events were held. Not much has changed with ice maintenance. Between heats, staff skated with buckets of water to fill in the grooves.

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They also did something with a CO2 fire extinguisher to repair the ice, which intrigued me. Here is all you may ever need to know about Olympic ice rink maintenance. For a rapid repair, they fill in holes with room temperature water and slush and then hit it with pressurized CO2 for a quick repair.

The skaters were almost horizontal on the curves. They had special gloves to touch the ice.

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Some of the skaters were just a blur, or was that my mad photo skill.

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We are still able to take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont. I go every couple of weeks to study French. The views and ride are always a delight. Last week there were ice covered cliffs with ducks swimming beneath them. Sometimes the only open water is in the ferry path.

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And the cardinals continue to enjoy our copper ash tree and sunflower seeds. No filter this time.

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Cardinals are such a treat to see at the feeder in winter when the landscape is comprised of shades of grey. The first photo doesn’t really capture the bright red hue the males display in winter.

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I may have gone a little overboard with my photo editing. But it makes me smile.

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There’s a chill in the air

Woke up to a temperature of -16 F outside and 56f in. Brrr. Cold enough to form ice on the inside of the windows. (This happens quite a bit, not sure if it’s the window or heat’s fault).

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It framed spring flowers’ reflection nicely. I bought a bouquet for myself and the geraniums and violets are also in bloom. It is a nice contrast to the white and gray outside, which is pretty in its own right.

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I hope you caught the almost full moon on Saturday. It was gorgeous.

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My fingers are crossed that the snowblower parts arrive before the next snow.

 

I injured my thumb snowblowing

6E97AB03-F7BB-46DC-A0DF-96F4446703B4Actually this is great news because, until yesterday, I thought it was caused by too much knitting. There can never be too much knitting.

The skies dumped about 15” of snow on us yesterday and I did the first pass with the snow blower (thrower)? I squeezed the drive control, muscled it into a u-turn and there was that pain. Must have happened the last time I used it mid-January.
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Then the wheels seized. Now I am up to my thumbs and elbows in gear grease from disassembling the drive train to get to a broken bearing. I needed a rest anyway.
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Unfinished Business

I am making my own memory quilt. I cut up all my old logo T-shirts, that were important to me, but no longer wear. The scraps became a rag rug. I  printed pictures of my favorite places onto fabric. Then assembled the whole shabang with my treadle sewing machine.

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When I went to look for batting in my quilt box, to my surprise, I found a quilt I had pieced and sandwiched that was just waiting to be quilted. When? How? Hmmm. So while I waited for more fabric for my “memory” quilt, I finished a(another) quilt I had forgotten.

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My sewing prowess continues. While I was looking at the courses Harrisville Designs is offering this year, I found me featured in a photo. Another 15 seconds. That’s me and my 1951 Husqvarna green machine a few years ago at Daryl Lancaster’s class.

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On New Year’s Day, we attended a bonfire at a neighbor’s that is an annual event. In addition to burning scrap wood you are encouraged to burn bad memories, deeds, etc. I know now to wear my old barn coat because sparks fly.

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We’re tucked in for a few days of snow – 12-18″ predicted. This is in contrast to last weekend when we spent a lovely day in Burlington.

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Temperatures have been cold as expected in February. Here’s ice on the hot tub cover. I’m wearing spikes on my crocs to walk to the tub again. At least with a decent snow cover we can play outside. If I remember.

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Lost my voice

I try to remain upbeat. No news is good news. Worldwide. And then wordpress lost my draft of this post. I persisted.

We spent Christmas in Quebec City where the first of the season’s viruses coursed through me. I missed dinner at my favorite restaurant where Tim dined alone. Instead, I watched the movie Madagascar in French in our Airbnb. Cartoons are a great way to learn a language. There is so much physical comedy and pantomime. No photos from that trip. I did manage to order a sandwich completely in French though.

Our bridge work at home continues without causing any hardship. Where there was one, there were two, and now there is only one again. We are using the new temporary bridge. The old temporary bridge has been taken apart.

My daughter and I compared cranes at job sites. She won.

Cold weather moved in. I hunkered down. We are celebrating the holidays with the extended family next week so I have been making and creating. Weaving really provides solace these days. Chinese dumplings will be on the menu.

And I knit a clock! What fun.

The cabin provides a nice escape and the views are wonderful.

We have had enough snow to cross country ski from home. But it’s getting warmer this weekend, with heavy rain and flooding in the forecast. The first test for our temporary bridge.

I’ll hold my tongue.

Winter break

Winter came early this year. We have already had two significant snowfalls while it is still officially fall. The weather has hindered our bridge replacement but at least we can drive to and fro without difficulty for the moment.

Just before the first snow

We ventured north for a concert in Montreal and enjoyed some of the lights and delicious food.

But Montreal is north of home and even colder.

I jumped at the chance to attend a conference in Arizona and to my sheer joy, my daughter joined me there. It was wonderful to spend some time in temperate weather. We enjoyed spa treatments, hiking, southwestern food, a butterfly museum and a night exhibit in the desert.

We certainly left the rattlesnakes alone. The butterfly camouflage is astounding.

Just the boost I needed to soldier through the holiday season.

Community

It amazes me how a small town pulls together. If someone becomes sick, there are various fundraisers to help the family, a meal chain is created and a village rallies.

We have no real emergency except we won’t be able to drive our own cars anywhere due to the bridge’s washout. Yesterday a neighbor’s friend built a temporary walkway so we can at least somewhat safely cross the gap.

One of our neighbors’ cars is already on the other side of the bridge at the repair shop. It has been offered up as a vehicle for us all to use. Another friend offered the use of their car. Our UPS driver called the house and asked if I wanted my packages left at work!

A neighbor across the road from the bridge said we could keep a car there. Construction engineers were here scratching their heads figuring out the best way to tackle this new development in the midst of replacing the bridge anyway. Obviously we would like five minutes to scoot one of our cars to the other side.

I’ll be able to at least walk to work but will probably cancel other plans. Tim will catch a ride to his concert today.

And why haven’t the bluebirds left yet?

Maybe they want to get their fill of these beautiful berries.