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.

F46330CE-904B-4310-ABD0-B55BCC7DFA2A
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.

8C6C4B11-80FD-4E48-8EEA-DE150E6EB713

 

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.

fullsizeoutput_10fbDSC01309DSC01317

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.

fullsizeoutput_1110fullsizeoutput_1102

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

DSC01249

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.

fullsizeoutput_10f7fullsizeoutput_10f4fullsizeoutput_10f2

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

fullsizeoutput_1112

 

 

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.

fullsizeoutput_10ec

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

fullsizeoutput_10ee

 

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).

fullsizeoutput_10e3

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.

fullsizeoutput_10e1fullsizeoutput_10e0

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

fullsizeoutput_10da

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.
5DF4273D-5B2E-41D4-9D2D-ADD0EF27B8B5

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.
18D143F8-64F6-4E87-9FDA-0536E41CC343

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.

A3E5B0E6-7B21-47E0-BDCA-D5A94195ED4E

28D13C0B-0C8F-47FF-857F-4DB40E8CA524

1B1F10B5-4D1A-4481-8471-999CD3CCBD07

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.

E3E0A722-73DE-421E-9DF8-FB6C9E6E0209

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.

DB1F0F67-EA4F-47D2-8903-BE954B9873AC

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.

CFFDB0E8-84CF-4035-B176-342D5D0253D5

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.

8FC7CC55-7F87-4E5A-80E2-5D4ACC6918E2

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.

D56A6FD6-F0B5-4B8D-BDF2-6F2D0CDCC45B

 

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.

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.

High Peaks are peaking

We live in a region of the Adirondacks called the high peaks, named for the 46+ mountains over 4000 feet in the area. They have been ablaze with color. People pull over on the roadside to try to capture the colors with their phones and cameras. It’s not always so easy.

There was smoke over the pond on an early morning venture.

Looks pretty drab after all.

Yesterday we wanted to swim but found the pool was going to be full of kids and no lap lanes would be available. Instead we went for an afternoon stroll out back. Holy cow!

Tim blended in quite well with the trees

The colors were stunning. Even the ground cover was bright red.

Next year’s blueberries?

Tim took me to a lookout with great views of our little home sweet home and the mountains. What a beautiful place.

Time to get out the woolies.

A trip to the University health center brought a surprise. A sculptured sewing machine and quilt, three stories high. Perfect fall colors.

Road work

Travel means more time to knit. My last trip enabled me to finish a mitten and knit two hats for friends’ birthdays. It was fun to design one hat on the fly. The mittens have a clever cuff, you turn the knitting inside out after half the cuff is knit. A little mind blowing. (It doesn’t take much these days). Although these projects will only pass through my hands, many things I have knit on the road become my souvenirs and remind me of a time and place.

Milet mitten by Ysolda Teague

This little froggie is lucky I didn’t have to take the car out the other morning. He was hanging out on the garage apron. He looks a little stern anyway.

Our travels took us back to Montreal last week to see a fabulous concert by the Montreal Symphony. It was a matinee and we spent the afternoon walking around Mount Royal. The population is almost four times the number in Quebec City you feel it. No bonjours, hellos or even head nods. Every one is on their own mission in their own thoughts. Been there, done that.

Small town living is the life for me.

A table set for friends

Monarchs are getting ready for their big trip south. Their numbers have fallen by around 75% over the past 20 years, largely due to reduction in milkweed. Our food chain depends on the birds, bees, butterflies. This is serious. The larvae need the milkweed. The adults enjoy nectar, or so it seems to me. Fort Ticonderoga and Saranac Lake shops provided plenty of nectar for the butterflies.

We’ve had frost at night. Time to hit the road butterflies.