Lunar cycles

The light from the full moon kept me awake for about 4 hours the other night. Turns out, 500 miles away, my grandson was also awake during the same time. If only I had known, we could have Face Timed into the wee hours. He napped, I did not.

Years ago as an ob/ gyn resident, I did some research on lunar cycles. There is a superstition on the Labor and Delivery ward that it is much busier during a full moon.

My research did not support that but I did learn that it affects ovulation. Predators conceive so their young are born during a full moon while prey are born in the darkness of a new moon.

Black ice forms spontaneously here and makes our evening rounds fairly treacherous. Luckily, it has warmed up for now and we may get a reprieve. However, the change in the weather was accompanied by gale force wind and sleet.

So I have been playing inside. My little sewing machine lived up to the task of sewing and quilting the rainbow quilt, which is now complete.

I only free motion quilted the center and border; the rest was straight lines. I included some of the fabric from his brother’s quilt.

The best part about this quilt is I plan to hand deliver it. It’s been 9 months since we have seen our children and grand darlings. It’s time.

Make time to look at clouds

It’s well worth it. Try to spend a few moments every day, wherever you are, looking up at the sky. It does a world of good.

Clouds following the shape of the inlet
I looked at a tree and found the moon

A walk in nature does wonders as well. Maine trees are so tenacious their roots grow up.

And on the home front, here’s a great technique to know your pan is the right temperature to sear anything. On a medium high setting, put a tablespoon of butter and oil in the pan, when the butter stops foaming, it’s time.

Sometimes it helps to look down as well.

Be prepared

The snow had been glorious here in Acadia, until the sky dumped a few inches of icy slush on top of it this week.

Rockefeller Hall, Schoodic Institute

We got to shovel that mess while it was still raining sleet. With the right protective outerwear, including hand knit wool mohair gloves, I remained dry. Well my hands weren’t dry but they were still warm.

When the snow was still fluffy, we skied the carriage roads here on the Schoodic peninsula and on Mt. Desert Island (referred to as MDI if you don’t want to worry about how to pronounce dessert as dessert here).

Schoodic trail

Tim whisked me away to Deer Isle for Valentine’s day (I made him another mask, three layers with two layers of cloth sewn around a surgical mask) and we skied and walked in the woods.

I came upon this memorial bench. Apparently George is still kicking but they are prepared to remember him.

More improvising

My quilting project continues. I taped the fabric backing to the kitchen floor and layered it (backing , quilt batting, and the quilt top) without much difficulty.

I started machine quilting it and realized I forgot to bring the gloves I usually wear to grip the fabric. No problem. Luckily I brought work gloves ( and a tool belt). One work glove came in handy. Looks very strange. And it’s fleece lined.

Tools of the trade

My favorite follower wants to know how I spend my time when I am not taking photos of the gorgeous scenery that surrounds us. I get crafty.

I couldn’t bring all my toys with me when we first drove to Maine because they wouldn’t all fit in my car. During my last trip home to work, I returned my loom and picked up one of my Sewing machines, a 1951 singer featherweight.

I bought fabric during that trip and planned a quilt. My grandson has requested a rainbow quilt for his new “big” bed.

I use a pincushion made by my daughter when she was in elementary school.

There is a circa 1970 iron from when the housing was occupied (as in lived in, not commandeered) by the Navy. It still has its General Services Administration label and is marked as property of the US Navy. It still works.

I did a lot if prep work when I was home and today I assembled and ironed a rainbow quilt.

And I’m feeling rather chuffed with myself.

Snow here and there

I left Tim in Maine to shovel out wet, sloppy snow. I had my own work to contend with back in the Adirondacks. The northeaster hit us worse than Maine and we got about another foot of dry powdery snow, which landed on top of about 8 inches of crusted snow. I returned to work for a couple of days, but the storm shortened my work day and lengthened my time at home.

We have someone plowing our driveway but with no thought as to how one would navigate the mountains he creates. I spent a good amount of time getting reacquainted with the snow blower and wore a hole in one of my gloves that I now have to darn, darn.

I created only the paths I needed to navigate to the garage, the woodpile, the electric meter and the propane fill. And did some hand digging as well. It looks like a rabbit warren now. And I spent a lot of time jockeying cars around. I was too tired from my second vaccine to ski and a snowshoe to the cabin plum tuckered me. But it was beautiful.

The night before I left, the local coyotes were in full force. I decided to wait until morning to load my car!

Coyotes in the field, although they sound like they are in the driveway

My trip back through the Green Mountains of Vermont was spectacular, if not a little nerve wracking on the mountain road that winds along the river. The trees were completely white but I was not in a mood to stop and photograph them.

Now I am back and happily ensconced in our townhouse in Acadia. Tim left some shoveling for me, so sweet.

My phone played a cruel trick on me this week and reminded me of lovely Deal Island in Tasmania, where it never snows!

How can this bee?

It’s cold in the northern Adirondacks, -15 degrees F this morning with about a foot of dry snow on the ground. My bee hive was prepped for this before I abandoned it and went to Maine for most of the winter.

The tilted cover shielding the entrance prevented the snow from blocking it off. Miraculously, I listened with my stethoscope and they are buzzing and humming inside there. How can it be? They are maintaining a temperature of 90 degrees in a small cluster. What a wonder!

Speaking of stethoscopes, I received my second Moderna vaccine and I know I mounted an immune response. I slept for 16 hours the following day. Well worth it. The one time, other than childbirth, I was happy to feel crook.

Happy cows?

I wonder which one produced this albino calf? I thought it was a sheep at first glance.

Does a lone loon sing ?

This one doesn’t. Loons call to communicate between a pair or to report threats. This one seems to be alone, unthreatened and mum. Audubon reports that, “in winter, they are silent and more subtly marked. They are solitary when feeding but may gather in loose flocks at night”. Although we are in a National Park, the only animal sound I hear is from squirrels chattering in the woods or from a tree in front of our townhouse.

Rockefeller Hall is on the grounds of the Schoodic Institute. This was part of the Navy Base that was here after John D. Rockefeller donated his land to the National Park Service.

Wayside image, audio description provided

Today it contains upscale housing and exhibits about Schoodic Point. We make sure it’s secure when we do our rounds.

Swimming at the closest YMCA continues to soothe me, twice a week. It’s a breathing meditation that goes by quickly, calms me, lets me sort my thoughts and get a little exercise to boot. I’m certainly breathing a little easier today. Since Tim is recovering from a broken wrist, I like to go early and the morning seascapes always catch my breath.

We haven’t had much snow that lasts yet and I appreciate the dry surfaces. I walk the peninsula with a camera, which I can use with gloves, and iPhone, which I can’t. Oddly enough, sometimes, the iPhone captures the best pictures. This is a new favorite.

I’ve packed up my loom to bring home and switched to spinning cotton again on my book charkha wheel. Such a simple clever design. They became widely used in India when Ghandi encouraged people to spin their own yarn to weave into cloth. Under British colonial rule, they had been growing and exporting their cotton, which was then spun and woven into cloth and sold back to them, heavily taxed, and many people could not afford it. When things go well, it’s another form of meditation.

I see some hand spun towels and maybe a shirt in my future.

We like to pack light for our trips. I brought two heavy sweaters and the yarn and pattern for a new one. It was a kit from Ysolda Teague called Bleideag and worked up quickly. A new classic and my souvenir from my winter at Schoodic Institute.

Add it to my good memories.

I like my ice in a glass

There’s a New Year’s tradition downeast, wherein people hike Cadillac Mountain In Acadia National Park on New Year’s eve to see the sun rise. It is the first place in the United States the morning sun touches from November to March. Sunrise here is late but not that late. We would have had to hike at 0500 or so. We chose to see the sun drenched mountain at noon instead.

We started up a path, which looked interesting, but encountered sheer ice right away. Tim acquiesced to my fears and we turned around and walked the road to the summit instead. I don’t like ice under my feet and there wasn’t enough of it to be managed with micro spikes.

This was the view of ice we saw from the road. I could get spoiled walking in National Parks, so well maintained. There was a trail around the summit that even enabled handicapped access.

After my trip back home, Tim whisked me as far east as we could go while remaining in the United States, to Lubec, Maine and the West Quoddy Lighthouse. This has to be one of the most photogenic lighthouses if only for its red stripes. We stayed in a small cottage, where the wind shook the house but never made it inside.

On our drive to the lighthouse, we stopped and walked in a wildlife preserve, where I once again turned back after we found patches of black ice. Tim found it the hard way, he slipped and fell, but didn’t make much of it. After we got to our cabin, his wrist swelled (this wrist has about $7,000 of hardware in it from a meeting with the ice in 2018) and the next day he went to the local emergency room. He hadn’t brought our insurance cards with him so we found the numbers and drew them on a piece of cardboard. It worked.

Turns out, he has a small avulsed fracture, a piece of one of the many wrist bones has broken off. It was much less painful than the first fracture and he has full range of motion. He’s off to a specialist on Wednesday and already communicated with his surgeon back home. But he didn’t let it interfere. We hiked all around West Quoddy Head with our micro spikes and a good time was had by all.

Red paint goes a long way in these parts.

So cute from any angle.