a day like any other

So true, If my kids ask me what I did, I can’t distinguish one day from another. Got up, ate a little, surfed too much, saw nature, created something, made dinner, went to bed, repeat. The high points of course are seeing nature and creating and I have had plenty of time to do both here.

Spring in Maine, cold, wind and fog with a day or two of sunshine to entice. We’ve enjoyed walking the local trails on Schoodic peninsula again, right out our front door.

I have a renewed interest in geology. The formations on the point give some insight as to how the earth and its shoreline was formed.

These veins of black magna rose from the center of the earth and filled faults in the granite.

When the Navy was here, they installed a fence, right into the water line, along this fault to protect their secret operations at Schoodic Point. I only just noticed that RD left their mark too!

And I sat on a wet rock and left my mark as well.

I choose to avoid the rocks covered in wet seaweed. I have been eating seaweed in various forms though. Dulse last night, some sort of fried, very salty “sea vegetable”.

While Tim enjoyed getting close to the breaking waves.

We’ve seen the first couple of boats working the waters.

When we can see through the fog.

I cook and cook…

And create…

Just another day in the life.

Elementary back stroke races

This thought just tickles me. We are taking a few swimming lessons to improve our strokes. I pretty much swim freestyle, always, and Tim does this and the backstroke. While giving us tips about our strokes, our teacher is intent on teaching survival skills as well, and the elementary backstroke, which used to be a favorite of mine when I was young, is really a survival swim. Since gliding and doing nothing is one of the most important aspects it made me chuckle to imagine a race with everyone doing nothing.

My concentration ebbed. The instructor asked me to count my strokes for the length of the pool – and I forgot to. Then when I remembered to count my strokes, I forgot to kick, because we had been working on another drill. It’s a good thing I wasn’t chewing gum as well, who knows what might have happened.

Back on terra firma, I have finished a lovely merino shawl for a friend. It is Print o’ the wave stole by Eunny Jang and the second time I have knitted it. Very satisfying. And I did memorize the patterns so something is still working up there.

Then I got carried away and decided I needed to weave a ribbon for the package. I hope to finish and mail it tomorrow.

We walked on the sand bar over to Little Moose Island which is only accessible at low tide. The day was glorious, 50’s and sunny, and we were not alone. But we always find secluded places to enjoy the sea and rocks.

I thought lobsters only turned red after they were cooked. Who cooked this one?

I saw a mitt in this rock. How about you?

Ah, how the mind wanders.

Me and my backstrap

This little loom has traveled around the world with me. It is so compact because I am part of the loom.

It is made up of a “C” clamp, a backstrap, which is, like it says, a strap that goes around my back, cards and me. My backstrap is a little crooked but it was my first attempt at weaving without a loom from an article by Laverne Waddington and holds a special place in my heart. I encourage you to look at the amazing pieces she creates with only a backstrap and dowels!

I can recall my long gone cats wandering around as I sat on the floor weaving it. A Swedish modification is the two pieces of wood on a wire I use to attach it to me and my backstrap. My modification is I no longer sit on the floor. I can always find a place to attach or tie the end of my weaving.

Those square cards are what make this a four shaft loom for card weaving.

This little device has brought me hours of fun wherever we may be. I needed a diversion last week so took it out of the drawer and wove a tencel band from a photo I saw on Pinterest.

Now what to do with it?

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.

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.