It's the perfect day to write a post. 63 degrees and gloomy. Nature's way of making us lazy. I did a quick stroll through the backyard just as a few raindrops started to come down and got a picture of my new rose bush and this gorgeous bloom. I thought this was a New Dawn but I found the stick and it's a Tiffany Tea Rose. Very pretty.
The big hydrangea bush is going strong and the once greenish blooms have now billowed out into white clouds.
My little herb patch is looking lush. I made pasta last night with fresh basil and oregano. I did poke some thyme and tarragon in there a few weeks ago, but it's very small right now.
Off to the lake on Friday night. I fell into bed exhausted at 10. Fridays are busy for me...I usually have laundry that I've postponed until the last minute, packing up and a run to the grocery (I don't like our store in town, very expensive, no bakery and terrible meat). I had to drop something off at Emily's house and of course that means a little visit with Papa next door. He has a woman that is there every day that helps out with the cooking, cleaning and laundry. He drives but during the day they go places together and pretty much hang out. And she is a riot. I think she's about my age. She can talk your ear off and she and Papa are so funny together.
So here's Layla hanging out on the swing. It's a shame that I have to keep her on a line. She has access to the garden where she likes to sleep in the sun or eat bugs, and then she can move on to the patio in the shade and even jump up on a chair if she wants. She's like my baby, I know when to move her back into the house for a little nap on the couch (her not me!), and sometimes I put her in the screened Summerhouse and she feels like she's sort of part of the action.
The Husband was up at at 'em Saturday morning cleaning up his work bench in the garage (I took this picture through the screen, I wanted it to be candid!). He finally bought a nice toolbox from Sears and updated some of his stuff so this turned into a weekend long project for him. He really loves to fiddle around in the garage very much like my dad did. I guess it's sort of his Man Cave.
It was a quiet weekend on our part of the lake, none of our neighbors were up, hence, no other dogs. Milo actually stayed on our property and followed me around out of boredom I think. I spent the morning cleaning up. The last time we were there we had my DIL's family up, a very full house. There were folded blankets and pillows everywhere. Sheets and towels to wash and I could feel the gritty sand under my bare feet everywhere. So I did that for a long time, watered my new landscaping in the front (everything is doing so well!), and then spent the later part of the afternoon and evening chilling.
The man can pretty much get a few winks in anywhere. Note the beer bottle. For him, one can do it. Love his spot under the palm...must think he's in Miami.
I did indeed make ribs and flip through the lake newspapers as I alluded to in my last post. And I did indeed make them last week here at home for the first time on the grill. It was just The Husband and I and they came out great. Actually, they are sort of no fuss because they just cook slow for about two hours. I simply cut the slab into three sections so they are easier to turn over. I brush them with olive oil and then season them with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Wrap them in foil and on the grill they go at about 200-300 degrees. I turn the packets over about every 20 minutes. During the last 15 minutes I open the packets, meat side up and baste them with barbecue sauce...we like Stubbs. Two or three moppings and they are ready. :)
My decorating at the lake tends to lean toward all things natural. It's just fitting with the huge windows looking out at woods and water. I happened to be flipping through a Wisteria catalog a few weeks ago and saw these little stone ducks. They are actually bigger than they look here, the baby one fits in the palm of my hand. Aren't they darling?
And while we are on the subject of birds, I have so had it with these sparrows here at home. I filled the birdfeeder the other day, which is no small feat as I have to climb on a chair and try to grab it as it swings back and forth. So I filled it and later that afternoon it was almost empty and most of the seed was on the ground. I had what looked like hundreds of sparrows on and around the patio. So, as it happens, there was an article about "House Sparrows" in one of those lake newspapers pictured above. They can be quite a nuisance and aggressive toward other birds. I was lamenting about this to my next door neighbor, Susie, she is very knowledgeable on the subject of birds. She feeds them as well as hummingbirds and know a great deal about our feathered friends. I asked her if it would be a detriment to feed the birds at the lake knowing that it won't last into the winter. She doesn't think so...I just don't want any starving birds once we start to come up less. So I am going to pack up my feeder and seed and bring it all north!! I may even get one or two more at Home Depot this week as I'll only be there to feed them on weekends. I'm wondering if this will make enough food to go around or if it will just attract more birds. And just so I don't neglect those feisty little sparrows, I'll keep some seed here to toss out to them in the morning.
I have a bad habit of buying books on my Nook and having them in my "library" and then forgetting about them. Actually you can reserve books on your wish list and I should do that. Anyway, I was visiting Vicki at Life In My Empty Nest last week and she was talking about this book. Vicki is a voracious reader much like myself. The cover rang a bell and sure enough, it was in my "library". This is a memoir about a young woman who suffers several huge blows in her life and feeling there is nothing left to lose, decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to upper Washington state, alone. With no experience she sets out to try to piece her life back together. Over 1,100 miles on foot, alone. This book has really been taking off and the author was recently interviewed by Oprah on her OWN channel. I was able to download it and I am just in awe of this writer and her story, her courage and her incredible writing. I'm halfway through and as always, I never want a good book to end.
I know a lot of us look back on our lives, maybe sometimes marveling at the things we did in our twenties or thirties; trips we took alone, places we dared to go, just solitary adventures and experiences for which we didn't need or want a partner, whether it be a best friend or husband. In the past few years I've watched my children begin to flap their wings and fly off making nests of their own, having wonderful new experiences. In a very real way, I feel my wings have been clipped, and surely by my own doing. I was/am so far removed from my past and the things I did without thinking twice. I don't take a lot of chances anymore, I don't seek out many new adventures alone. I've been surrounded by this fantastic, close knit, loving family of my own here for so long that it hasn't occurred to me that I might have lost touch with "going it alone". And I know now I am thinking good and hard about it, because in time, we might not have a choice but to go it alone.
I was up at the lake a few weeks ago. The Husband had gone to bed. I was sitting in my rocker in the Great Room reading and at about 10:00 p.m. I decided a glass of wine would be good. I poured a glass of Pinot and looked in the freezer and there was no ice. Oh, I have to have ice! I looked out at the dark patio. We have another fridge out there and the freezer always has ice in it. But you know what? I was scared! Yes, I've seen raccoons out there. I've found coyote dung. I've been swarmed by bats. And there will always be the LaMunion Brothers from town (another story). I kept telling myself I was crazy, just flick the lights on and run out. I felt paralyzed and angry at myself for fearing something I knew was much bigger than an animal... and that it was going to seriously challenge, if not change the independence I now need and seek in my life. So I sucked it up, walked down the steps outside with Milo (and that was taking a chance, too, as he could have taken off after an animal and then I would be running through the woods alone!). I got my ice and forced myself to walk down to the dock. I stood there for awhile soaking in the moon and stars. I sat down on the end and let my feet dangle in the warm water. Milo laid next to me. I drank my glass of wine.
It was a small step. I asked myself recently, when was the last time I went to the lake alone? It would have to be about ten years ago, Milo was a puppy and I brought him to the vet there in town to be neutered, it was cheaper than the city. I don't know what has happened to me since. I told Emily, I want to drive up to the lakehouse during the week when nothing is going on, when nobody needs me. I'll have the dogs, a bag of groceries and a good book. I'll take the kayak out on the bay and wear a big straw hat. I'll eat what I want for dinner and then make an outdoor fire at night and sit with a blanket on my shoulders until I've had my fill of the moon and stars. I have to be the captain of my ship.
A snippet of a review of Wild
"Strayed's journey was at least transcendent as it was turbulent. She faced down hunger, thirst, injury, fatigue, boredom, loss, bad weather and wild animals. Yet she also reached new levels of joy, accomplishment, courage and peace..."
Well, I'll leave it at that.
And since coming back from the wilds of Michigan (Ha!), I have tackled the cleaning out of the office for the carpet that will be coming soon. I have finished half of it and that's most of it in these big bags. There are more bulkier items lined up in the hallway. I have a stack of baskets as tall as me. When Emily and The Husband turned this small room into an office 10 years ago, Emily's philosophy was, "A basket for everything," I am beginning to think this was a cute idea way back then and was certainly bolstered by all the cute blogger's craft rooms (and don't forget laundry rooms). My conclusion after yesterday is that baskets are simply bottomless containers for disguising junk that you can't seem to find the correct place for or should throw out. These are going out with the trash. And since the room will be empty, I'm going to paint it, which is a big deal for me. I have never seen such an ugly shade of green. I know if I go down to the basement and search through the half empty paint cans, I will find one called "Canned Peas".
Leaving for the lake again Friday, this time for a whole week. Yahoo! Our friends, Craig and Snow are there now for a little vacay and so we will all spend the weekend together before they leave. I'm so looking forward to some "girl time" with Snow. I have a tech from Comcast coming Monday so I hope to have the Internet up and running and I will get back in touch! :)