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

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AN EVENING ON THE LAKE

The air is so thick here in Southern New Hampshire, it felt like a good night for a cruise, and so we did.  And, it was lovely.  

Keds!  Can you get through a summer without them?  I sure can't!






The most beautiful sight of the evening a loon chick all on his/her own, swimming
and fishing.  It would appear he's out from under his momma's wing and ready to go.  

VISITORS AT THE LAKE

There are so many wonderful things about living in a lake house, and one of those delights is the visitors.  Visiting us at our full time home is a ho-hum experience, but at the lake house.. well, people do not hesitate to make the drive and enjoy the lake.  

Last week my longest-standing best friend, Scott, came for a three days, and of course he brought along his LARGE black lab mix Pongo, adopted 6 weeks ago.  I did not get a picture of Pongo, he is camera shy.  If you point a camera at him, he leaves the building.  

Not so for Scott and I, and here we are.  
I met Scott when I was in grade school.  We became young friends while skating on a local pond, and remained friends through middle school, high school, college, and obviously beyond.  He is Uncle Scott to our children, and to me he is my dear, dear, friend who knows and understands me, as I do him.  I am so grateful to have him and his partner Paul (who couldn't make the trip here) in our lives.  

I must add that Scott and I always have adventures and fun when together.  And, somehow someone always gets knocked around in the process.  The knee I'm having replaced in September?  Scott and I, along with four other passengers, ran a toboggan into a chain link fence when we were 17.  The cartilage in my knee was torn up and removed and that knee is totally done now.  

The tear in the rotator cuff of my right shoulder?  Body surfing with Scott on Fire Island, NY, where Scott and his friends rented a house for years and I visited for a week each summer for years.  This injury was one of those that my kids would describe as "it's all a whole lotta fun until someone gets hurt.... then it's hysterical," because I remember how we laughed when I untangled myself from the ocean and came up with sand and scrapes all over.  I didn't have that shoulder fixed and probably never will.  When I swim or row and my shoulder screams, I remember that wave and that tumble and the sun, sand, and our laughter, and I smile.  

This spring Scott visited me at my home and while visiting a tooth abscessed on him... talk about PAIN.  Which led to Scott needing pain meds and ending up blasted and sick.  It was not pretty, but was a bit hysterical.  

This trip, Scott and I escaped unscathed, but dear Pongo tore a toenail off below the cuticle while learning to swim.  He is a good swimmer!  But, a bit too enthusiastic and thus the torn off toenail.  What a mess.  We are praying for rain to wash the yard before this weekend's visitors arrive, as it was a bit of a blood bath for poor Pongo, who had to go to the vet for a pressure dressing.  

I hope that you are lucky, as I am, to have a friend in your life as long as I have had Scott in mine.  It is a blessing unlike any other... aside from the danger involved.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

IT IS JUST ALL TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Paul visiting. 

Cousin cookouts.  Christine and me with cousin Richard and dear wife Karen. 

Sunsets.

Me and my sister's names on the sign for our lake association.  Living closer to one another than we have in 40 years.  She's the Horne and I am the Mourer. We started out life as Michauds. 



Monday, August 12, 2013

OLD DOG NEW TRICKS

A friend who recently paid a visit to us at the lake sent us the collage shown in the previous post, using an App called Pix Stitch.  

I have downloaded that app onto my I Phone and I figured out how to use it in about 10 seconds.  I surprised myself, making a collage of a few recent scenes from the lake.  
And, yes I am tan I am very tan.  I cover myself head to toe in #40 every morning.  And, I come out tan.  It's a combination of my French Canadian heritage, my younger days of tanning, and mostly the number of meds I'm on that leave me photo-sensitive.  Without the sunscreen, I would look like a lobster I am sure.  I'm holding back as much sun exposure as I can.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

SUMMERTIME!

For the first time in over 10 years, I am enjoying summer time.  And this is why:
The lake house, that is why.  When we bought our slice of heaven, we didn't realize what a positive impact it would have on all of us (Me, Dave, 3 dogs, 2 cats).  We knew it would be fun, we didn't know it would be nearly life changing.  

I am able to be outdoors all the time, and that is something I lost to MS years ago due to the unsuitable terrain and climate at our full-time home.  Now, I have easy access to swimming, rowing my boat, motoring my boat with the silent electric motor, and spending time with family and friends who visit.  My sister Christine has a camp 10 doors down the lake.  When she is here with her two grandsons, we have a routine in the morning that I go down in my row boat and have morning swim time.  I have built up a lot of lost strength and also have lost 26 pounds with the increase in activity and by eliminating carbs from my diet.  Those times when activity is not what I need, I sit on our deck overlooking the lake, watching for the local eagles, loons, osprey, hawks and the hummingbirds at our feeder.  I never tire of watching the lake and the wildlife, as each moment there is something new to observe.  

Yes, the heat waves in July were very difficult on me, my heat intolerance did not and will not change.  Heat waves happen here less often than at home, so the uncomfortable days that I simply must get through are fewer.  We have room air conditioners in the lake house, and will be adding central a/c before next summer.  

Dave is working out of the lake house and is more relaxed than usual with his job.  When he is done with his work day he is able to putter to his heart's content.  Here he has the time to learn how to fix things and build things, and this brings him a lot of satisfaction.  He loves his motorboat and the swimming, fishing and wildlife, and the time we have with family.  And, I know that watching me in the outdoors, where I belong and where he first found me, has also brought him great joy.  

The cats are living large in this house with beams and a loft and all kinds of vertical space up high.  Since I believe so strongly that an animal that we choose to domesticate should be allowed to do what comes to them instinctively, I have always provided my cats with as much climbing and high spaces as I can, and cats like to be UP! and here they certainly are:
Reesie

Poppy

The cat tree we bought and tucked in a corner--from here they access all of the  high spaces
in the house.  They can walk the beams, relax on the top of the spare bedroom closet, or
go in the inner windows to the sleeping loft.

 As for the dogs, it's heaven of course, and they are being dogs.  Miss Bella has returned to her roots as a miniature schnauzer, digging to try to eradicate the yard of moles.  I don't know if she's caught any, but she's dug a lot of holes and has earned herself the nickname of "pig pen."  In the heat waves she did what a dog ought to do, dug herself one huge hole and laid in it, against the cool rock wall.  This hole is about 2 feet deep and growing.  She couldn't be happier.  
Now, I don't have a picture of Miss Cassy doing her thing at the lake, and shame on me for that.  She is the leader of the pack for guarding the property, and any boat that comes too close to our dock is greeted properly.  Everyone on the lake knows both Cassy and Bella now, as they blast down from the house to the end of the dock to greet all passersby.  Cassy is also our shore patrol, as she's gotten a bit OCD about the small fish at the shore.  Ever since she saw Dave pull a few in on a rod, she has spent HOURS on the shore wall staring into the water, watching, watching, watching.  It's what she does and is happy to do so.  

Little Misty is doing what she loves best, spending every moment with me.  She is also getting more activity, and has improved her prance and also has shown that if there is something stinky to roll in, she'll be the first one on it.  She IS a dog, after all


The simplicity and one floor living with minimal "stuff" in my environment suits me well.  With a great reduction in "input," my cognitive deficiencies do not push me to my limits as often.  Even the simple elimination of the noise of a TV has helped.  Although the MS symptoms didn't disappear upon moving to the lake, they are more under control, and I am able to use my energy on things other than house keeping.  With the simple country roads and few cars in the area on weekdays, I am able to drive to the Post Office for our mail each day.  Since there are no lunatics talking on phones, drinking coffee, etc., driving as fast as possible to get to where they are going, I can easily do short errands on our quiet roads.  This little bit of freedom feels so good.  It was funny one day when I realized that I am doing something I have wanted to do my entire life:  I am living in the country.  

I do have a sewing area within the spare bedroom, and it works perfectly.  I am finishing two quilts to take to the quilter.  I am also knitting a lot, enjoying my work on this lap afghan 
This pattern is called Umaro and is available from Brooklyn Tweed.
It is knit with Cascade Yarns Lana Grande, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool,
which is super bulky and super soft.  

I do have my X stitch project here with me 
Paperchains from Tam's Creations
However, I do not spend a lot of time cross stitching.  It is too difficult to follow the chart while glancing at the lake every 5 seconds, as I do.  

Soon enough we will be returning to home, as we prepare for my knee replacement at the end of September.  When I was 17 I had a tobogganing accident that tore up the cartilage in my right knee.  Back in those days, there was no microsurgery, so they just opened up the knee and took out every speck of cartilage they could find, whether damaged or not.  40 years of using that knee in that condition have worn it out completely.  I have gotten my money's worth out of that one, and so it will be replaced.  

Until then, we savor every day on the lake, and know that we will live here year round at some point.  The simple outdoor life suits us well and we feel pretty blessed to have found a way to enjoy this chapter in our lives, with Paul and Anna off on their own, and with Dave's retirement on the horizon.