Tuesday, August 12, 2014


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.

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.

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.


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! :)



Simply LKJ said...

You are always on the go! The tea rose is beautiful. Some of our hydrangeas did not bloom this year due to the unusual winter weather we had. Our book club read Wild, but I just couldn't get into it at the time. Might have to pick it up again.

Susie said...

Blondie, You brave girl...Since we have coyotes in the woods across the road 1/3 mile...I am not crazy about going out at dark. But I do to see the moon things. I love the photos of your husband napping. dang, the one on the ground, he must have been tired.LOL I hope you have a fun filled last of summer and boy it seems to be upon us. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I love your hydrangeas Jane,I planted one this spring so I hope it will grow and be beautiful next year.
I know how you feel, I have four kids also, two are married and have family's so I babysit a lot, this week I'm off Michele took the girls to see 1 Direction in Philly:) I give you a lot of credit to drive there and stay alone but you will have the dogs with you.
Have a great evening!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

You are so making me crave ribs!! I just saw a commercial for them at a local restaurant too. Yum! Your little stone ducks are so cute! Enjoy your time at the lake!

awal.ny said...

Oh so busy. I love the picture of your husband sleeping on the blow up. I too do not venture far from home. I do not drive on a thruway unless I have to. Once I did get the courage, I told my girlfriend I was going to drive out to visit her for a week. After I said it, I wanted to take the words back. How could I have said that, 8 hours on the thruway on the hills of PA. I surprised myself and my girlfriend. Three years in a row I did it. I really did. Then I started work and I no longer had the extra days off. I miss seeing her, having those special days together. I think my soul needs another one of those trips. I think that may be why I am on the quest for the RV, to venture out, before it is too late. Have a wonderful time at the lake. Alaina

Balisha said...

Have you read A Year by the Sea or it's sequel An Unfinished Marriage by Joan Anderson? I read them this summer. They might be something you would like.
I don't venture off on my own and never really did in my lifetime. I envy my daughter's courage...she's traveled to Europe, China, Belize and so many other places on her own. She will drive anywhere at the drop of a hat. She has homes in DC and Wisconsin. Travels between them every other weekend. I don't know where she got her courage.
It does look like your hubby can sleep most anywhere.
Have a relaxing time at the lake...Balisha

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Your flowers at home are very pretty. I would be up at the Lake house by myself at lot. Just to relax, read, have a glass of wine and watch the stars.
Isn't it amazing how we change - very adventurous in our 20's, a little less in our 30's and it keeps going down a little every year because we have to many things to do and people counting on us. But as the family leaves home to spread their own wings. we take a look at how we have changed and realize that now we can become ourselves again.
Now since I have no responsibilities other than my dogs - I do what I want, when I want and I am loving it, Jane.
Have a wonderful weekend at the Lake and spread your beautiful wings.

RURAL said...

It sounds like you are on the edge of a adventure...being out in the the lake, surrounded by water, sigh...and to have the lakehouse all to yourself, pure joy.

I've read that book, loved it...amazing.


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I would spend the entire summer at the lake. I miss living on the water. Sounds like you are keeping busy this summer.

Beth said...

Your tea rose is gorgeous, Jane! I love pink roses. Your hydrangea is really pretty too. Enjoy your week at the lake, and here's to courage!
Blessings and hugs, Beth

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Beautiful flowers, enjoy those cooler temps! Love your ducks, they are adorable.

Low Tide High Style said...

Sometimes we need to scare ourselves a little to move forward, though I have to admit that I would not be a fan of bats swarming me as I went to get some ice! ;) I started reading Wild, a friend sent it to me, and I never finished it, it was too depressing I thought. Maybe I need to pick it back up and try to finish it! Enjoy your week at the lake!

xo Kat

Sarah said...

Jane, it always fun to catch up with what you've been doing. Coyotes!!!! There have been sightings in our neighborhood which is in a very urban environment. Scary! I won't let Sadie go out alone at night.
I read WILD. It's a great story. I smiled when reading your thoughts on being independent and going off to the lake on your own. I think we all slip into the comfort of being with others, but it's healthy to spend time alone every now and then. Alone time validates our self confidence.

Kathleen Grace said...

Your comments about all the ways you have changed, how you feel like you don't take chances like you used to, I can so relate! I think we lose a little bit of ourselves as we raise our families. Our nest is empty now that Victoria is wed and off on her honeymoon. I feel like it's a second chance for Earl and I to be a couple. But it's also time for me to get in touch with who I am, grow, branch out, have some adventure while I still can. It's never too late to follow our dreams.

Linda said...

Never forget who YOU are!!! Take time to be YOU! We should never get comfortable being who others wish us to be. It's so easy but we need to be strong and take chances (within reason) and stay unpredictable enough to keep others interested in what we MIGHT do!!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
I just read your last two posts and was surprised to see a picture of me! Hehe..can't wait for that weekend.
Your rose is gorgeous and so are your hydrangeas! You do have quite the green thumb Jane!
Love the cute stone ducks and of course I love hearing about all your latest adventures. And now that I know how brave you are, I can finally get you up to my neck of the woods. I haven't seen a bear in two years. Which is a good thing. I know what you mean about losing part of yourself. It's a real change when the nest empties. But of course then mine got filled up again rather quickly. I am heading over to Door County for a few days to stay with my Mom and her sisters who are already there. Looking forward to that. Dan has to work so it will be a gal thing. My Mom's sister drove from Peoria to our house in 4 hours the other day. So actually we may be closer then you think, depending on your speed and traffic. She said she was going 80...just to keep up. lol. It was sunny and about 70 here today. Cool but pretty. Ok long enough ramble. I hardly ever have time to read blogs in the summer but always yours my dear.
Love ya,

Lulu said...

Girl, you do have a lot of words in you, and I do love them! We've had the same problem with sparrows, but the chipmunks are happy to find all the seeds on the ground. BTW, i wish I could get my hubby to organize his shop. It's a mess, but, hey ,if he's happy with it I should keep quiet!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Your garden areas look lush and happy. I bust out laughing at the husband's SECOND nap and his palm tree. LOL you are too funny :)

Going out in the dark..reminds me : as a young kid my grandparents "Camp" was an old schoolhouse in Clarion PA. How I loved to go there. BUT AT NIGHT: if you had to go, you had to walk all the way back through the pitch dark yard to the outhouse.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I'm so glad you are liking Wild! I also feel the need to push myself every now and then. This weekend I drive to Pittsburgh on my own and that is definately out of my comfort zone, but will be so much fun, I will gladly do it. Have a relaxing week at the lake :-)

Unknown said...

Sounds like you've been busy. I like to do things alone. Ever so often, my husband goes to the lake and I stay home to have some alone time. He's the same way, so it works well for us. I don't venture out on my own too much anymore, especially since I've been feeling like crud! Hope you have a great time with your friend, Snow. Enjoy your girl time.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Love the ducks...can you tell me where???...:)JP

Pondside said...

What a full post, Jane. I love your lake posts but this one was special. I hope you really do take that trip alone to the lake. Wake and sleep on your own schedule and challenge yourself to 'go it alone' for a wee bit. The fear of the unknown is always so much worse than the reality. Let us know how you do!

Stacey said...

I cracked up with you talking about fearing the back porch by yourself..or wherever that fridge is. I'm not afraid of any animal or snake but I'm scared to death of the dark!! Always have been. Then years ago, with friends, I was coerced into seeing that first Hannibal movie and that cinched it!! I can't go outside at night by myself without fear of Hannibal. Just can't do it!!

Your husband looks pretty comfey laying on that blow up floaty. :) Does he know you've posted him for the world to see? Oh, my dad gave my husband a "real nice tool chest" for Christmas. It's about 4 feet tall and has lots of drawers. Paul loves it!! He labeled all the drawers and he's so proud. :)

Poppy said...

Such a wonderfully reflective post, Jane, about where some of us are right now, with regards to our own challenges, whether they start from overcoming fears of the dark to fetch some ice, to learning a new language or adapting to an empty nest! Now, if that nest happens to be inhabited by a furry companion, sweet smelling flowers and herbs, and a hubby who helps around the house, well, I'd say you are one happy camper!

Enjoy your week at the cabin!


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing wonderful information, it is really nice information.

LANA said...

First I want to thank you for visiting my blog. When I just looked at yours I had to laugh because your hubby in the garage and lying on the chair on the patio looks just like mine! Your photos are great and it looks like you have lots going on!

Unknown said...

Always enjoy reading your posts Jane. I'm like your husband lol when I'm tired I can sleep anywhere, even a raft not in water! Your flowers are beautiful. I'm also enjoying mine and hate the thought of summer coming to an end. Enjoy your weekend at the lake house.

thistlewoodfarm said...

Awww....Layla is adorable! Love your hydrangea, too!

Happy day to you rock star!

Privet and Holly said...

Ah, lake time--
you are so blessed,

I get such a kick
out of how much
Layla reminds me
of my little Gracie.
They have such a
similar look!

Enjoy the weekend,
xo Suzanne

Doreen@househineys said...

I sense some things are going on with you Jane. Some introspective musings perhaps? You know,they say every seven years or so we go through some kind of change, sorta like a 7 years itch. I think you're having a shift in your mindset somehow. Trying to force yourself to do new things. Things that you might never have done. That's great! I bet it feels pretty darn good, right? Proud of you!!


Connie said...

What a fun post . . . love the photo of your hubby sleeping in the rubber raft. I think the duck's bills are clothes pins . . . well maybe :)
Have a sweet and happy weekend.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

Bluebird49 said...

Oh my--I wonder what is in those bags! I love to get a chance to look through what people throw away--it may just be something I'd like to add, but I need to throw away, too.
Like you, I'm finding-especially since my husband retired 6 years ago(his job was done away with, so he retired "early"--that I don't do thing alone anymore. He drives everywhere, we married early in life, so I've never had that time you're "by yourself and out in the world". I need to start doing things on my own, even if it's just joining an new group of crafters or something. I never want to think of being alone--but it's so possible (anything is!) I never used to fear going out at night and all that, but now, I need to get myself back into doing things alone sometimes.

Bluebird49 said...

Oh--forgot to mention, I have a tablet that lets me order Kindle books, and I love it so much. Some of the little deals I also see are from "Book Bub", which are books from authors that are not known, but some of the stories are quite good, and plus, some are FREE and some are just a buck or two. Are you familiar with that--and can you get it on your Nook? I love reading!
And..wondered if the ribs you cooked are what are called "Baby-back ribs" here in VA? My husband loves them , but I never cooked any before...I'd like to know how. HE'd really love that.
Loved the candid pictures of your hubby. Napping seems to be one of my husband's favorite things...but he doesn't seem to have to work outside (nor in) just to take a nap. I'd love it if he liked to piddle around and get some little things done around here. :)

Kit said...

Loved all your stories of the Lake. :) Hey, I understand where you are coming from about going to get the ice...LOL I don't like going to the alley with the garbage after dark. So afraid I will run into a deer or bear! Oh, on my blog, that is a pic of my oldest daughter, not me. :) We look alot alike tho. Have a great week! Kit

Elaine said...

Great post! I think as we get older we have more fears due to life experience. I know I don't like to drive too far at night anymore.

Going to the lake by yourself sounds nice. I would take the dogs but not sure about going out in a kayak by yourself. You are braver than I am.

Love that photo of your husband under the palm tree!

xinex said...

Al is so cute with his catnaps anywhere, lol. Your stone ducks are really cute!....Christine

Anonymous said...

good for you concurring your fear, I am also a little nervous at night up until I went blind, now its dark almost all the time, I paint with a big light and I paint real small, lol, I enjoy my visit with you so much, its just so open and honest, you are a treasure,

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoyed your post. I have also reflected on the passing of time. It is never too late for an adventure! "Carpe Diem." As a retired grandmother, I have the time to do what I want, when I want. I regularly "commute" between my homes in WI and PA [My PA "Little House in the Big Woods" has coyotes, bears, deer, fox, etc., all around. I go out at all hours, roam through the forest and fields, where I study the birds, trees, ferns, wildflowers, butterflies, mushrooms. I sketch, I paint.] My goal is to visit all of the US and all 7 continents. So far 40 States. Last May-July France, England, Germany, Czech Republic. Last December-January South America [Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru Falkland Islands], and Antarctica. Next month I am going to Australia and New Zealand. Morocco in February. The Royal School of Needlework in London every year. Shetland Islands, too. Six continents down, one to go (Asia). I plan my trips, and just take off on my own. I am my own best friend. I am blessed. I am very, very blessed.
Go for it, Jane!

Blondie's Journal said...


You are truly fearless and I think that naturally leads to adventurousness! I love your enthusiasm for life...that's inspiring, even to someone who just wants to make it through a few days in the country alone. ;-)

Thank you so much. Please come by again. I'd love to hear what you are up to!

Jane xx

Traci said...

I'm like your husband. I can sleep anywhere!! I really need to clean out our office. Since having a laptop the office has become the room where stuff goes when there isn't any other place to put it.

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, your life is an adventure and I love catching up on all you do. How beautiful is your tea rose. Such a gorgeous color. My hubby does the same and loves to tinker around in the garage too.
Your hydrangeas are gorgeous. My whites did not bloom this year. They are tall and lush but only a few blooms all summer.
Your ribs sound so good. Love those darling stone ducks.

Thanks for stopping by while I was on vacation celebrating our anniversary. Trying to catch up tonight.
Wishing you a great end of summer. It sure has flown by all too fast this year!!

sweetvintageofmine said...

Morning Blondie, When I read your posts, they always put a smile on my face! Everyday Life....what a Blessing more than we know! Those pics of hubby "snoozing" are hilarious to me..my hubby too can fall a sleep in a second! Your flowers are beautiful as well as your herbs..(I love herbs). Don't work too hard but it usually pays off in the end.....So happy you didn't see any wild animals when getting your ice...been there, done that! (I had 12 raccoon in my garage one beautiful summers eve at the farmhouse, no food but they were sitting around on our john deere, work bench, etc...you get the picture-SCARY!) I think those duckies are SWEET~~quack, quack! Love anything made with nature! Blessings for a wonderful weekend coming up~~~Roxie

Vel Criste said...

63 F? It's getting a bit chilly over there, but hey, you garden isn't complaining, so all that's good. Looks like you've been enjoyin' the lakehouse a lot this year, and you should, take advantage, I hope winter's not gonna be like the last one ;-) Lovin' the ducks and love learning how you cook your slabs. :-)

Bohemian said...

Those Stone Ducks made me Smile! What a great way to incorporate Natural Elements into Whimsical Vignettes for Autumn!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Brandi said...

Your flowers are beautiful. I bet your roses smell so nice. Your husband looks so comfortable sleeping outside. I can't wait for cooler weather so we can enjoy our yard again. The mosquitoes take over in the summer.