Here we are

And so lucky to be where we are.

Pause continues and now I am living in the basement for a couple of weeks. It is well worth it though. I snuck out to see two of my grand darlings who live a long drive away. Now I keep Tim safe by keeping my distance. I don’t know when I will see the little ones again because after my visit they resumed day care for everyone’s mental health.

Thank goodness the weather is nice. It’s like camping. I have a cooler in the basement and a Coleman stove set up in the porch.

And there is plenty to do. My wildflower field has finally taken and the pollinators visit often.

My veggie garden never looked so good and there is always the shed to work on. Tim helped me with the roofing panels. Next step is to shingle it. I have to learn how to “snap” a straight line. I hope trim covers all my measuring and cutting errors. As my daughter the engineer told me, “Little bit a caulk, little bit of paint, make a painter what he is and carpenter what he ain’t”. Love it.

The little boat brings much joy. We have explored several lakes with it. An island camping trip was jinxed and cancelled, but we took a day trip yesterday to Upper Saranac Lake instead. We found a great bay to swim in and the weather was perfect.

We’ve been swimming about a mile every other day. Great tension reliever. I have an mp3 player that works in water that I love to listen to.

This island had one building, a chapel. Boat access only.

Our outing was followed by a sandwich from our favorite deli, curbside pickup only, and a soft serve ice cream enjoyed at this park.

The drive home was regaled with a full moon rising over the mountains. I am enjoying all the outdoors because I don’t intend to gather indoors until vaccines become available. In the meantime, as my new hero Dr. Fauci says clearly and often, avoid crowds, wear a mask and wash your hands.

How to avoid cabin fever in the North Country

Carnivale!

Many dark, cold, towns and cities in the North hold winter carnival to ward off the cabin fever.  Saranac Lake has one of the best in the country and we went yesterday to see the Ice Palace.  I think last year’s ice was a melt (or wash) but this year we’ve had a month of frigid temperatures.  The theme was Celtic, which seems to be interpreted as Viking, pre-St. Patrick.  There were lots of horned caps and leprechauns with a little Mickey and Minny thrown in. Saranac Lake is often one of the coldest places in the country.  Yesterday was a balmy 10 degrees and yet there were kids in t-shirts without gloves.  I was bundled from head to toe in —wool of course.  And stayed toasty throughout the day.

My favorite events are the Paul Smith’s School of Forestry Woodsmen competitions.  Not for the feint of heart as axes are swung between the legs in a race to split a large log.  Then off to boil a pot of water.  In previous years, fire was started with stick and twine but this year they resorted to matches?  Still, they had to split the kindling, make the stove, get the fire started and boil a can of water.

These highlights and a bit of the parade are in this Youtube video.  It includes the woodsmen competitions, a great drumming corps, the Canoedolers, Paul Smith’s bucket percussion group and the dragon.

 

When the lakes freeze over and are solid ice, what to do? Make an Ice palace of course.  This is the best I have seen, with carved dragons, seats, castle turrets and even a maze.  Fun for all.

Ice palace wide

 

The best part of the parade is the Lawn Chair Ladies who beat out a beat with the clack of lawn chairs.  They are at the end of this video.

We capped off the day with a short cross country ski to Moose pond and then a skate around Mirror Lake.  A fun time was had by all.  Only a few brass players were found stuck to their horns at the end of the day.

Tim on Moose Pond