"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Week Near Water

It's been a busy week and no blogging time. At long last I've got a chance to catch up!

Last Sunday morning the Chap drove off to Montreal, after he and I rang up my mother to wish her Happy Birthday. My friend and I and the dogs hastened to the cottage for a few days by the Big Lake.

Our first order of business was staging a photo op with us, the girls, and the Big White Boat. There's a lot going on in this picture!

Our next order of business was dining at El Centenario. After freshly made-at-our-table guacamole we each enjoyed an enchilada feast. This is my friend's 3 enchilada combo--mole enchilada, rojo enchilada, verde enchilada. I had the same thing, only with 2 mole and 1 verde.

We watched Mad Men that evening.

On Monday morning, we had coffee on the dock with the dogs. Not sure what they were all gazing upon so intently.

We spend a lot of time down by the water. This circle of clouds formed over the lake.

Another really important agenda item was baking. On our way to the lake we acquired some fresh local strawberries. On Monday we put on our almost-matching cute aprons (mine was a gift from my friend, and she brought hers to NH) and baked a blueberry pie with a lattice top. We used the recipe of our kitchen guru, Meta Givens, taken from her cookery book.

Oven ready! (Meta's book is open on the table for easy reference....)

Ready to eat!

It was the best blueberry pie ever baked. Or devoured.

Jewel is 39 pounds of loving lapdog.

At the cottage we've got an ice tray that makes actual-sized golf ball ice cubes. Last year my friend--a golfer--decided that on her next visit she would hit some into the lake from our dock. So, for weeks in advance of her trip I made batches of golf ball ice cubes for her. On Monday and Tuesday afternoon she practiced her swing.

Ruth also enjoyed the ice cubes.

We departed the cottage on Tuesday afternoon, stopping at our vet's office for a quickie appointment for Jewel. We all crammed into the exam room.

Jewel came back to the Lodge with some antibiotics.

My friend left us very early Wednesday morning, 2 days before her birthday but we started the celebrations early. We're already making plans for the next get-together. We attended the same grammar school, high school, and for a year we went to the same college. Probably we met at a children's puppetry class but we really can't remember. It was after a youth theatre class that we started hanging out together almost constantly.

The Chap returned late that afternoon. We had scrupulously--and generously--saved him a single piece of the awesome blueberry pie. He pronounced it the best one ever.

Thursday was mad busy...I dropped off an Oriental rug to be cleaned, met my FFTNC to help her choose new bathroom fixtures and lights, had mandolin lesson, resumed bathroom fixture shopping, went out to Thai dinner with FFTNC.

On Friday I visited friends who live in London but have a summer house in Maine. While on the road I rang the Birthday Girl. It was as spectacular a day on the Maine coast as it had been on the Big Lake--clear sky, cool and comfortable air.

After lunch we went to Popham Beach (not the adjacent State Beach but the other one) and spent the afternoon. The tide was all the way in when we got there.

The teenage boys with us spent a great deal of time in the water. I waded in up to my knees...

...and when my legs went all tingly and then totally numb from the cold (which happened very quickly) I emerged.

Not too many yards away, a seal was swimming in the outgoing tide, completed unaffected by the frigid water or my proximity.

On the way back to our house, my friends stopped off at a local ponds so their boys could swim in "warm" water. While watching them splash about, we observed a large kingfisher repeatedly catching fish, and then an osprey diving for its meal. On my visit to them last year we went boating on the river to see the eagles, so for a second year in a row I've had great birding experiences in that part of the Pine Tree State.

Yesterday I continued preparation for the painter who comes tomorrow and Tuesday to paint the Lodge kitchen and dining room. Everything is removed from the walls, and because I have glass-fronted kitchen cabinets that must be painted all inside I've removed all the crockery and china and glassware and baking things and wipe down the shelving. We're coping with the disarray fairly well.

I learnt that it's possible to spend half a day online shopping for new cabinet and drawer pulls, something I hadn't imagined to be possible. We need a total of 26 pulls/handles. I'm stronging considering this one, called "French Twist."

I haven't yet found the fish-shaped black metal ones I most wanted.

I was so involved looking for the perfect design that I was nearly late to the potluck party at the end of our road, a great chance to visit with our neighbours--especially the seasonal ones we see only in summertime.

We sat beside the little lake till well after dark, chatting with our hosts and some friends. For the past 3 nights I've been watching the Perseid meteor showers before bedtime...it's amazing to see the meteors zipping across the sky over our forest.

We went to church this morning and brought home a big load of Singapore curry noodles from Ping's to microwave for supper, as cooking a proper meal would be impossible tonight. The prep for our painter is complete. By this time tomorrow, the kitchen should be finished and I can begin putting things away--the items I'm keeping, that is. I've tried very hard to thin out our possessions.

Hope you've had a pleasant week and weekend, wherever and however you might be spending it.

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