"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, April 29, 2013


This was the weekend to open the lake house and get those pesky indoor chores done before the outdoor season is upon us.  The house was empty, totally empty, and in need of a lot of paint.  

First order of business was to get a thing or two in there so at least Dave and I would have a place to sleep.  My sister and her husband Michael pulled an amazing act of kindness by going up to a condo we own in the mountains and grabbing a few pieces of furniture to start with.  So, when Dave and I arrived at the lake house on Friday, we were delighted to see a place to sit and to sleep.  
They had even gone so far as to set it up with our mugs and local maps, as if we were visiting an upscale lodge for the weekend.  And, brother in law Michael made sure that the setup was nap-worthy.  It is.  
Saturday morning the fun began.  And, I'm going to tell you that if you ever want to paint a place, my sister and her family are the ones to call.  Those dear ones have got it down to systems and science.  Here's our dear niece Caryl, who came for the day and worked like a pro.  With their help, 80% of the painting is done.  There's a small amount of horrid green left in the kitchen area.  I know it won't last long that way, though, as Christine is obsessed with how much she hates the color and when she's on a mission you'd best step aside.  
Last weekend Christine and I did accomplish the mission of dining room furniture and have a lovely shabby chic setup.  A great distressed old pedestal table with two big green chairs and four smaller white ones.  Christine made the runner on the table.  Also she left a small gift for me on the table, and I don't have it facing the right way for you to see it.  It is a tiny jar filled with old buttons, with some greenery and flowers stuck in and then a wired picture holder with a picture of me in 1959 at a spot in Maine where our family went every summer.  What a great touch.  
And here's what it's all about.
Soon we will tackle the job of figuring out how the dock system is assembled and then Dave will finish his NH boating license test.  We've got a boat and are ready to go.  

We will also have to figure out a dog containment system.  Silly us, we thought the dogs would just hang on the lawn by the lake if that's where we were.  Cassy is good, she has excellent obedience and comes when called every time.  No problem with her.  Bella has minimal obedience skills.... not because we've not tried, but because she is first of all pretty simple minded, partially blind, and is just too happy go lucky to worry about much.  So, she got herself tangled up in the woods adjacent to our property quite a bit and also headed down the dirt road to who knows where a few times.  

Little Misty surprised us the most.  We figured she'd just stay at my heels, as she usually does.  Nope.  First time we let her off leash, she attempted a journey to somewhere, very purposefully heading up our paved path from the lake up to the road, taking a left onto the road and with great intent, setting off on walk about. After she did this the first time, Dave watched her the next time and she did the same thing, and he followed her 5 feet behind, silently watching to see what the heck?  She has a journey in mind and we have no idea what it is.  My sister's lake house is down the road that way, does she want to go see Auntie Chris?  

At any rate, thank goodness we are the last house on the road, and there are no cars whatsoever coming by.  But, we will be making a way to keep them corralled and safe because we do not want to spend our time at the lake worrying about their well-being.  Our first idea is to place metal grates across strategic areas, because neither Bella or Misty will walk across a metal grate.  You know, like the grates they contain cows with.  Same idea.  Or, we may just say in for a penny in for a pound, and put up some fences between the lake and the road.  I just know I don't want to spend my summer yelling "Bella!" "Cassy!" "Misty!!!!!"  

This Thursday the beds, mattresses and couches will be delivered and we will be in business.  I continue to pick up a thing or two for the kitchen by grabbing extras from our home and buying items at my favorite thrift shop.  Next weekend Anna is visiting from California, and has reported she and a couple of girlfriends will like to spend the time at the lake.  

So much to look forward to.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013


On our last day here among the Giant Sequoias we were blessed with about 4" of snow.... So far.

When you travel in high wilderness areas, there are chain regulations for vehicles. Right now is a time when you must have a set of chains in your car when you enter the park.

We do have a set of chains in our rented large SUV. We have the chains for Anna's Ford Focus. We grabbed them from her to meet that "chains in the vehicle rule," never guessing that we'd need chains and the "chains in our vehicle" might not fit said vehicle. Tonight the National Park peeps instituted the "chains required ON TIRES" rule.

We aren't too concerned, as we are at the highest elevation of the park (8000 feet) and know that the snow will dissipate as we go "down the hill."  And, we have 4 WD.  We just have to hope that Mr. Ranger sir isn't between us and the end of the snow line.

From this report you'd probably not guess we are well-seasoned travelers. And as of tomorrow that will be 31 years of traveling together! We are celebrating this anniversary by taking the red eye from Long Beach to Boston. It just doesn't get much better than this I'll tell ya.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Years ago the Reverend George Tooze stood at my side watching the sun set at one of the fantastic lakes on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. And, he said to a 17 year old me "ANGIE! How can anyone witness such beauty and not believe in God? How?"

This is one of the many ways George brought God to the youth he led. And he did this well, as here I am 40 years later, at the base of the Giant Sequoias, and George's question lingers, his voice in my memory as if he asked this just yesterday. And now, as then, my answer is "ya know what Tooze? I don't know, I really don't know."

Now, though, my faith is 40 years stronger


Need I say more? Yes, indescribable beauty.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Here in Orange County CA life is indeed a beach. The miles and miles of endless sand and surf are miind boggling, especially to those of us from rocky New England.

It's great to be here, the whole family in one place at one time. Life is good.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Today is Walk MS day in Southern California, so our daughter Anna is out there pounding the pavement for those who cannot.  The money raised by these events is so important.  Unless you have MS, you may not realize how necessary the National MS Society is to those of us who live with MS.  Not only do they fund research, they take care of those with MS who cannot afford items that make their lives more comfortable.  They work at the top level of research and also down in the trenches for the people.  

Thank you to those who supported Anna's walk today, and to those who support any walker, anywhere.  Your support does make a difference.  

Anna and her roommate Neiko, ready to walk.  
Most of all, thank you, Anna, for your giving heart.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


On Sunday Dave and I stopped by the lake house so we could remind ourselves that winter in New England will eventually come to a close, and that we do have a lake house to move into.  Here's the view on Sunday:
The ice is still over a foot thick, and ice fishing is still going on.  Once the ice is out, and before they raise the lake level for summer, (dam controlled) we hope to get at our swimming area to chuck rocks for an afternoon.  That'll be tricky timing, and if it doesn't get done, then I'm guessing we are going to swim anyway.  


Yesterday was a rest day for me, after a very busy weekend.  I am actually learning that if I get up in the morning feeling like 100 miles on a dusty uphill road, then I need to have a rest day.  

Just like all good stitchers, though, I cannot just sit and watch TV.  I need to be knitting or stitching.  So, I took advantage of my day of sitting and finished Flutterby.   I love it!  It was great fun.  It will get framed and hung in the lake house, so I'll look for a shabby-chic kind of frame for it, maybe a rubbed light blue or pale pink paint.  


Poppy kitten had destroyed the fabric on my design wall, mistaking it for her personal climbing wall.  So, last week while out and about with my sister, I picked up a large piece of fleece to recover my wall.  The didn't have any neutral shade like I wanted, so I chose a light blue, close enough to the gray that I desired.  It came out perfect:
I'm looking forward to using it as I design a beachy quilt using 4 x 4 squares cut from men's striped shirts.  

As I was covering this design wall, climbing wall, Poppy kitten was at my side, as she usually is.  But, this time she had an ulterior motive, as she is bright enough to know exactly what was going on.  Her climbing wall was getting a new cover, having sat uncovered for far too many months.  

Here we go again.  


Last year I spotted a baby blanket that Barbara at Pinelands Treasures was working on.  I asked her about it and she told me it was knit from the same basic pattern that she uses to knit cotton dish cloths.  I was familiar with that pattern, but had never thought to use it for anything aside from a dish or face cloth.  So, I knit up a baby blanket using the same pattern:

It is such an easy pattern, and so is good to take along when traveling, and so that was last summer's traveling project.  

Recently they had the Lily Sugar and Cream 100% cotton yarn on sale and I bought a bunch to knit up some dish cloths:
These are so very simple to make, and are wonderful to use.  You'll never want another dish or face cloth.  This summer my supply of cotton yarn and set of needles will be my travel project.