Time to make the pizza

We took a nice walk in the woods last week to Boreas Pond. The road was washed out in the same storm that knocked out our bridge. This meant we had to walk the whole 13.5 miles round trip. It was a beautiful day, so why not?

At the pond, we were greeted by circles of ice and a zeppelin cloud floating overhead. We enjoyed lunch and napped before heading out. The ice and snow we had to contend with on the way in had melted but we were no faster leaving. Couldn’t make a pizza that night because it takes a couple of hours to get the embers just right and the oven hot enough.

It will be a beautiful place to explore by kayak next year if we don’t have to portage the 13 miles!

Last night I made pizza in the oven I built a few years ago. Nothing better. Sun sets at 4:30 so I cooked by headlamp and may have been a little giddy.

The pizza cooks in 90 seconds and is fun to watch. I used my telescope while I waited for the fire to be ready.

Actually I was making sure the whole structure didn’t burn down because flames were licking the outside of the oven. I have a laser thermometer and although the oven floor was 800 degrees f, the roof didn’t get hotter than 140.

One day I will line up things to bake: bread, pie, roast, with one fire. One day.

And then he said this,

“Oma, when will you come to my house so you can sleep with me and have a campout?” And just like that, I’m crushed. I don’t know when…

So I try to distract myself instead and make things and take long walks in the woods. I’m completing a batch of quilts for the grand darlings now that they all sleep in their own beds, even if it lets them wander in the night.

Shark quilt
Elli inspecting a quilt top

And a couple for the adults as well.

Just like I “read” two books at a time (one is an audiobook), I generally have about three projects in the works: a quilt, something on the loom and a project on my knitting needles for the evenings while we watch movies.

Tencel scarf on the table loom
Hands spun, hand knit scarf

We leave soon for the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park for the winter. What to bring, what to bring? I’m not talking about clothing. We’ll have boots, skis and snowshoes. Oh and a bathing suit to wear in the local pool. That’s always easy.

Which of my many fiber tools? Always knitting needles. Perhaps my portable table loom with premeasured warps? Or a sewing machine? And what about my spinning wheel? Oh my.

This is the first time we can drive to a caretaker gig and it boggles my mind. No dry bags, no dinghies, no planes. I may need limits.

Feeling the love

We remain pretty isolated at home. Our location makes it easy.

A view of home from above

Except for campfires with 2-4 people, we don’t see anyone. Entertaining at a fire is one of those times it’s best to shower afterwards. Interesting concept.

Even from afar, my grandchildren’s light shines on us. After my cat Elli died, I received the sweetest sympathy card, complete with a paper cat puppet.

And I’ve been featured in show and tell. “O” is for Oma and “Q” is for the Quilt with a lighthouse Oma made.

“Q” is for the quilt Oma made

Makes my heart sing.

On island

We left the deer at home to finish eating the rest of my garden. They’ll have to pass on the geraniums though. These came from Seguin at the end of a season a few years ago.

Tim suggested we drive through the White Mountains to Maine. Then he took a nap. He woke up for the hairpin turn of the Kancamagus highway.

We enjoyed a leisurely drive and made it to Bath, ME in time for my French zoom class. I am confident Canada will let us back in one day…It was fun to have a little time to roam the town.

As predicted the wind lied down by Thurs and we took our favorite lobsterman’s boat with our gear and food to the island. The new Yeti cooler performed as advertised.

Getting the gear up the hill is always a chore but Cyndy from Friends of Seguin Island helped and it went easier than I remember. Maybe it was a good plan to backpack and build up legs prior to this trip.

And here we are.

This year, through individual contributions, Friends of Seguin Island raised more than $100,000 to convert to solar energy. And it works, even in this foggy spot.

The Island had the same caretakers for the last two seasons, Debbie and Chris, and they kept it in great shape and made several major improvements: a spanking new generator shed for the spanking new generator; a plank walkway in the North trail’s swamp; a new interesting trail and a new bench on it. . Some of this was done last summer, when the electric cable failed and they had to run a generator 4 hours a day. Hats off!

Here’s to a few more beautiful sunsets in my happy place.

Navigating

We leave for Seguin Island Lighthouse sometime over the next few days. Initial plan was Tues but by late last week, I started to watch the weather and saw strong north winds and high seas in the forecast. It still looks that way until at least late Wednesday.

This is the way it goes. We have been island caretakers for five different islands and they all have their sweet spot. North winds don’t work for Seguin because they create waves onto the rocky beach. We learned that over the years. Our first time here, the skies were blue and crisp, looked beautiful, but it came with a north wind. We waited a week.

Baker’s Island has an exposed beach and a rocky landing. Especially fun with cats. For many reasons, including the fact we don’t currently have any, we no longer travel with cats.

Shirley, Baker’s Island

Deal Island, Tasmania, in the Bass Strait, was the roughest. There’s always a west wind and you pound into waves for four hours from the east unless you catch a plane. The boat ride off island has always been lovely.

Protection Island, Washington and Five Finger Lighthouse had tides to contend with. We could only leave on a medium tide in Protection and Alaska had 25 foot tide changes so no boat could anchor nearby, it was a scramble on and off the rocks.

Alaska ferry
Alaska Quest

So while I have coffee at home in the Adirondacks, where there has been frost on the ground every morning, I check the weather update and contemplate another wet boat ride. It’s always worth it.

Transition

We are getting ready to head to Seguin Island Lighthouse for a couple of weeks. I conscientiously enlisted a Catsitter to watch cute little Elli.

Tim went backpacking for a couple of nights and while he was gone she died unexpectedly. Healthy during the day, dead overnight. Life is like that.

Because it’s so close to our departure, the catsitter has become a housesitter and they are still coming (which means I still have to clean the fridge).

They won’t have to cook for him, whose call is , “who cooks for you”, but I came across this beauty in our backyard. He was hanging out on a branch near an owl house made for a much smaller owl.

I just stood with him quietly in the woods very peacefully.

Fall is in the air. This tree’s color popped out at me.

Colors haven’t changed in the hills yet.

Nor at ye olde homestead with the cutest sheshedbeeshed, which still needs a foundation skirt and interior shelving.

I see kitten(s) in our future. (Don’t tell Tim).

Imagine

I am starting to see things again. Not woowoo visions but interpreting reality a little differently. It is mostly centered around bees at the moment. On Deal Island, in the past, the rock formations spoke to me.

When I had to make the decision of which way to hang the door on the bee-shed, this knot made the decision for me.

You have to admit you see a bee flying at you. So the door went up and the shed is finished. My “weekend” project took three months and ran behind schedule and over budget. But it provided hours of learning and much welcomed activity as we moved in and out of PAUSE. I may have a little post construction depression (PCD).

It’s easy to see why because it is the cutest shed I ever built. Tim gave me some bee decor for our 14th wedding anniversary and it is the perfect finishing touch.

Now the bees are sending me their own message. Something about a dog.

My daughter lacked the vision but here it is.

Lake boat

When we sold our last sailboat, Tim thought he was free of boats but I had a vision of dragging a small boat around the Adirondacks and zipping around in its many lakes. Sparky met the bill – small, a little funky, cute as a button, and reliable. She is a 50 year old Starcraft Sprint with her original Mercury 50 outboard. She has already outlasted one truck. Now Eddie takes her for her rides (Eddie because he is an Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer, 33 years her junior).

If anyone can replace a windshield on Sparky, please let me know.

She has been in at least 10 lakes with us. Yesterday we ventured to northern Lake George from Rogers Rock campground. It was a perfect day, warm, sunny and not crowded except for two loons that got a little close.

We dropped anchor off Vicars Island and Tim swam his usual mile, I did a little less and while I procrastinated getting in the water, they swam close and started singing. What a treat.

I swam for a bit then clambered back aboard (actually the hardest part of the swim because the ladder leans into the V- hull), and lounged on the pull out seat.

We wrapped it (and perhaps summer) up with soft serve ice cream. Just what I dreamed.

Ins and outs, ups and downs

I asked my grandson to draw me a maze. Oh ye of little faith. Needless to say I cracked the code.

My bees go in and out of their hive through a 1 inch entrance. The small opening helps them maintain the hive temperature in the 90’s. Looks like there will be a line to get in later.

Tim invited me to join him on a camping trip in the mountains. Weather forecast was favorable (and he couldn’t find anyone else to join him) so I said why not.

The weather was perfect. We had a leisurely hike in to our campsite. I stopped and smelled the roses, or all the funghi at work in the damp woods.

The next day we planned to bushwhack (bushbash in AU) up a small mountain with beautiful views of the High Peaks.

Anyone remember Gilligan Island’s “three hour tour”? It began with me belly flopping on a stream crossing. I cried “ girl down” but no real harm was done.

Then came the uphill bushbash. Our little hike lasted 9 hours! I was poked, scratched and snagged and my sweater was in tatters by the end of the day. The views were quite nice though for the few moments we enjoyed it.

We slept well that night. The next morning we got our creaky bones moving and hiked up to a place called Summit Rock with a nice ledge to rest after scrambling over and between boulders, some as large as a car.

We saw two sets of rock climbers dangling from these cliffs.

Then we returned to our campsite, had a cup of coffee and hiked out just before dark. We covered 22 miles and I have the battle scars to show for it.

And here is my view sitting in the comfort of my living room chair at home.

Gotta go up and down, in and out for the fun of it.

Close the door

One of my Covid projects is almost complete. My she shed, bee shed, which I could have purchased for way less than I spent to build, is almost complete. I am $1600 in the hole but have learned so much if I want to build another or perhaps a tiny house.

It has a window but still needs a door.

It keeps the rain out so I have already started storing things in it.

Hive equipment fits nicely and my tools and work gloves spent a few nights nice and dry in the shed. But some critter decided to hang out there as well and thought my work glove was a good dinner.

So I guess I have to get around to closing things up. Trim is now up, waiting to be stained and then the door. Woohoo.

Most importantly it has kept me out of trouble and made the days go by quickly.

Fall is just around the corner. I hope to get at least one frame of honey from my bees this year before I tuck them in for the winter.