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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I AM STILL SEWING!

The weather in the month of June has been perfect for me, and so I've not gotten locked in the air conditioning at all, and haven't spent a lot of time in my sewing corner.  I know there will be plenty of winter days for that, so enjoying "my kind" of weather is a priority.   

In spite of that, I did recently learn how to make a string block and have been using some batik left over from making Paul's quilt.  

I am making these blocks using 10" foundation paper.  They are great fun, but the tearing of the paper after the sewing is through is not fun at all.  My sister, who introduced me to string blocks, sews only the first string to the paper, and after that pins one string to the next and sews, with the paper folded out of the way.  When she has all her strings sewn together and ironed, she uses the 10" paper as the cutting guide.  I'm going to make my next block that same way.  

I also made a clothespin bag, re-purposing a grubby old apron.  Dave installed a clothesline here at the lake, and for the first time in many years, I am hanging out the laundry to dry.  The laundry line is easily accessible from the room where our laundry closet is located, and it is a delight to once again be hanging clothes on a line.  The ritual of hanging out the laundry onto a line is one that I love.  I don't know if it's the ecology of it, or the orderliness, or perhaps the memories it evokes, that make it an activity I so enjoy... but I do.  And, I am happy with my clothespin bag, as it hangs on my shoulder at just the right height for me to reach in and grab a pin.  Such a simple pleasure!!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

SCENES OF A LIFE ON A LAKE

How lucky I have been throughout my life, to live here in New England.  My father was a man who loved the outdoors, and so when it came time to vacation, we did not head to cities, we headed to lakes, mountains, forests and streams.  Those vacations instilled in me a great love of the outdoors, a quality that David and I strongly share, and it is a love that we  shared with our children, Paul and Anna.  Like my family, we spent vacations on lakes, in cabins, in tents, near mountains and forests.  We never did take them to NYC or Washington, DC, but they know what it's like to ride a horse to an altitude of 14,000 feet in the Rockies, and sleep there under the stars.  They know how it feels, what it sounds like, to sleep in a tent in a pine forest on a lake, with the calls of the loons as a the background music.  

So, how blessed do I feel to now be living on a lake in New Hampshire?  I cannot describe it.  I am blessed beyond words.  With my mahongany row boat and electric motor, I am free to spend as many hours on the lake as I please, just taking it all in.  The sounds and smells and feel of a lake fill me up every day, and at the same time bring forth the memories that sustain, of days on lakes with people who are no longer here to listen for the calls of the loons every evening.  


Every season, I start my lake blogging season with a post called "Keds on the Lake"
Well, Keds changed their designs, and my feet changed their shape, so it's onto a new brand,
but "Skechers on the Lake" doesn't make for a very catchy title.  So, here's my feet.  

Bella is a Miniature Schnauzer.  Miniature Schnauzers were bred to root out vermin.
We have moles on our property.  Got the picture?  

Retired now, Dave said to me the other day "It's kinda like being on vacation every day, isn't it?"
Yes, Dave, it is.  

Cassy and Bella keep up their vigilant watch over the lake.
Misty won't walk on the dock, otherwise she'd be right there with them,
giving the passing boats the what for.  

Anna and Lila love the lake just as much as we do.
We are so happy to have them here on the East Coast,
doing what East Coast girls do.  Paddleboard on a lake, of course.  

My Boat.  My freedom to do as I please whenever I please,
on the lake alone.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

THE WOMAN IN THE PORK PIE HAT

Finally, after this long winter, we are back at the lake.  David retired May 1, and we spent the first month of his retirement sorting through our belongings and downsizing so that we could bring to the lake just what we need for a good life, on the lake, year round.    

Not every day will look like today, as Dave and I were able to watch a pair of loons doing what they do, which is to take my breath away with their beauty and grace.  



Not every evening will look like last evening.  But each evening we will be grateful for this opportunity to live so close to nature.  

This year I am volunteering as a "loon watcher" for the Loon Preservation Committee of New Hampshire.  I keep "in touch" with the loon population on the lake, and each week report into the field biologist assigned to our region.  It is an amazing opportunity, this "job" of expanding something I do any way, watch and listen to the loons.  Only now, it has a clear purpose and I am learning a lot.  I'm helping these diving birds, who at one point were seriously endangered.  Their numbers are rising, but very slowly, and only through the efforts of many Preservation groups.  

One of my favorite ways to keep in touch with the loons, is by talking to people.  I pull my boat right up to a dock where I see people fishing and introduce myself and I ask a simple question "Have you seen any loons today?"  And people love to talk about the loons, and what they have seen, and all they know.  And, they ask me questions, and we have great discussions about all things loon.  

One day I couldn't find my usual lake hat, which makes me look like Katherine Hepburn in "The African Queen," (yup) so I grabbed a Pork Pie hat off the pile.  And off I went to observe the loons, and to talk to people.  After a great conversation with a friendly, down-to-earth couple who were fishing off their dock, I bid them a good day, and when I left, the man said, "I know who you are now, The Lady in the Pork Pie Hat who is going to protect our loons." 

Yes, that is who I am.  

A BATIK QUILT FOR PAUL

It has been a terribly long time since I have written in my Blog, and longer still that I've been in touch with my Blogger friends.  

I hope that changes now, as I rededicate myself to writing and sharing.  

First, I want to share my most important finish this spring, a queen sized batik quilt for our son Paul.  It's fabulous.


Sticking with my tradition of naming my quilts after
songs that convey the word in my heart to the person
who will be warmed by my work, I named this quilt
"My Wish," by Rascall Flatts.  
The original pattern was only what is within the first blue border.
Suicide mission--take a quilt pattern of dimensions that make no
sense, and which is constructed of discontinued fabrics,
and make a fabulous queen sized quilt.  Mission Accomplished.
I think the borders were more work than the patterned portion of this quilt!
The quilting was done by Mary Flynn, of Quilt Hollow, and she did
fabulous work, using a pantograph called "Woven Winds."