"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, July 29, 2007


Here's a blog milestone--today's posting is my 400th, 0ver a period of 2 years and 6 days.

It was difficult, abandoning that gleaming new fridge, but I headed up here to the cottage midday Friday with a carload of beasts, food, and beverages. The Chap showed up that evening with pizza for supper (the traditional Friday repast) and my Harry Potter book which had arrived in the day's post.

I've got advance knowledge of a couple of major plot points, but it was such a busy week that I encountered remarkably few spoilers.

Yesterday we had company--some friends and their young daughters. The weather promised to be dodgy, but the rain showers ended just before they arrived. Our afternoon was wonderful, not too hot, not too cold, not too bright, not too cloudy. And the lake was a balmy 75 degrees.

The girls try talking Lola into diving off the end of the dock.

A short time later, Lola fell off the dock into the water. She was unfazed, swam over to the rocks, climbed out, and for a few minutes shook water on us all. I think she was glad of a chance to cool off--it's late July, after all, that husky fur coat must be uncomfortable.

There was a thrilling voyage aboard the sea monster.

Looks like a magical creature out of Harry Potter, doesn't it--of the more benign variety!

The girls fished off the end of the dock, sometimes using wild blueberries for bait. Jewel discovered she could eat blueberries right off the bush. This does not bode well for our blackberry patch at the Lodge. Ruth cleaned it out last summer, and I predict Jewel will help her out when the fruit is ripe.

I was in the lake for a very long time--a wonderful place to socialise with guests. When I came out, Jewel tried to dry me off by licking me. Counterproductive, but she didn't know that.

We had a fabulous cookout--burgers, brats, and a hot dog. That Chap was an awesome Grill-meister. The guests provided a gourmet salad. Finished off the meal with ice cream cake topped by raspberries. (First time I'd made it. I'm the sort of person brave--or crazy--enough to try a new recipe when company comes to dinner. This dessert was so dead easy that there was no way I could wreck it.)

I'm spending this morning on the porch, sipping java from my moose mug and catching up on Our Hero's adventures.

The Chap headed to church. Ruth and Lola bid him farewell.

He'll stop by the Lodge to deliver my love to the fridge and collect the Sunday paper. Not that I need it, with HP7 here.

We're expecting a stormy afternoon. With luck, the rain will hold off long enough for more swimming. For that, I'll put down my book.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Love Affair

Phase 1 of our kitchen upgrade is complete. The new fridge arrived late today.

Jewel is jazzed about how it fits the space perfectly.

It's a no-smudge, no-smear stainless. So we're told.

I suspect I might be spending more time in my kitchen. Just staring at it.

People warned us that fridge magnets don't work on the stainless-type refrigerators. We found one that'll hold a magnet beautifully. But I'm so in love with its sleek, pristine stainless look, I'm not inclined to put magnets on the front. Yet. Maybe never.

We're presently mulling options for a different type of magnet display that doesn't involve our fridge.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two Years and a Day

Quick quiz questions

1. Why did Margaret miss posting on July 23, the two year anniversary of her blog?

a) she was weeding her garden
b) she was purchasing major household appliances
c) she forgot
d) all of the above

Answer: d

2. Which of Margaret's dogs can levitate?

a) Ruth
b) Jewel
c) Lola
d) all of the above

Answer: b

3. How many websites is Margaret supposed to have updated by the end of this week?

a) none
b) one
c) two
d) three

Answer: d

4. Will she update them on time?

a) yes
b) no
c) maybe

Answer: c

5. How many has she already updated?

a) none
b) one
c) two
d) three

Answer: c

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Views along the Parade Route

Today I rode in a parade! This is one of the most enjoyable activities for a state representative--or a political candidate.

It's Old Home Day weekend in one of the three towns I represent. Each of them has an Old Home Day--one is in July and two are in August.

Old Home Day, instituted in 1899 by one of our governors, is a New Hampshire summer tradition, like agricultural fairs. You can learn all about its history here

This year the July Old Home Day town is celebrating its 225th anniversary--a "young" town, for New England.

The Cub Scouts' float featured a birthday cake.

Three of our district's four represtatives--100% of the female reps--rode in the parade. In a blue 1970 Cadillac convertible, probably the biggest car I've ever ridden in that wasn't a limo! I'm telling you, it was a stylin' ride.

We got in line behind a Bee Lady on a Segway (a New Hampshire invention) and another birthday cake float.

Our chauffeur, spouse of one of our reps, checks out the progress. We would be following one of the two bands--the one on the flatbed trailer behind the red fire truck. Town Bands are another New Hampshire tradition.

The babes in the Blue Convertible are ready to go!

We waved at everyone along the route--all the way along Main Street, then Elm Street, then Depot Street, and back to the starting point. We went right past my church. The Chap was on the front lawn, grilling hot dogs for our Outreach fundraiser. Half the parish seemed to be working the food tent, and they shouted out and waved to me.

The weather was perfect, bright but not hot. I had a wonderful time.

After the parade, I treated our chauffeur and our young flag waver and one of my fellow reps to hot dogs--grilled to perfection by the Chap. (He lost count of how many dogs he cooked after 300, which was before I got there). Then I went to the Undercroft to help church volunteers box up items from our New To You sale tables and load the snazzy bicycle the Chap purchased (for $15!)into my car.

Can't wait for our next parade!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Good vs. Evil

Evil: The Michael Vick story. It makes me ill.

"Dog fighting is an unacceptable activity."

A little while ago I heard a CNN news presenter speak those words. At that very moment Jewel and Ruth were rampaging about my office, snarling and hissing and baring fangs and tackling and yowling in a fake death match. Although their play-fighting is extremely entertaining, I couldn't resist quoting the newsman at them.

Neither Evil Nor Good: I know the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I received a publishing trade communication today that contained the Big Spoiler and quoted from some advance reviews from major newspapers' Sunday editions. So much for embargoes. Its ends the way I predicted, so I'm chuffed about that. (Unless, of course, it's a cruel hoax. But I really don't think so.) I'm not fussed about spoilers. Whenever I write a novel, I know exactly how it'll end, so if I hear how somebody else's novel ends before I get round to reading it, no big deal. The e-zine editor who printed the spoiler promptly sent out a quick "Don't Read Today's Newsletter Because It Has the Spoiler"-type message. But there's bound to be an outcry from the unwary, who read the original without realising what was in it.

I was destined to find out the ending in advance of reading the book anyway, because my copy is coming from the U.K. So everyone else will have it before me. And no way can I shut out media or the internet for the length of time it will take my copy to cross the ocean blue. I wouldn't even try. (See: "I'm not fussed about spoilers," above.)

Evil: Tonight, NBC is re-running that atrocious Posh 'n' Becks program. Which was far, far worse than I imagined it would be.

Good: While the atrocious program was airing on Monday night, I stepped outside (during the earthquake consultant segment) and shot this:

Evil: My mood today. I won't go into why. It's not really the fault of anybody or anything. Just one of those days that went bad from the beginning. And got worse.

Good: My weekly accomplishments...so far. By very early Tuesday morning, when I ended my writing burst, I had 19 manuscript pages completed. I think I might've strained something in the process (like, my entire brain). But it feels wonderful. Then I logged three partial days in the office--learned a lot, completed many tasks. Last evening, I was doing some research for an upcoming scene in my book...gearing up for the next writing burst, though I'm not entirely sure when it will occur.

Better than Good: I'll spend a large chunk of tomorrow in my kitchen, baking for the church bake sale and the dinner party the Chap and I will attend in the evening. Messing about with pots and pans and stuff will be therapeutic! And maybe I can sneak in a bit of writing, who knows?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Three Questions

1. If someone, for her primary meal of the day, makes brown bread French toast topped with brandy-poached pears, is she allowed to call it pain pear-du?

The foodie in me cringes, but the punster can't resist.

2. How does a woman with so common an accent and an egregiously flashy sense of style get away with letting people call her "Posh"? I know, it's the reaction of a snob, but really, it boggles the mind. Always has done.

The Chap will be watching her on telly at the Lodge, and said I should watch it too. I'd planned to photograph the sunset. I suppose I can manage both....

I've written a huge chunk of a new chapter. Such productivity raises the final question:

3. What is wrong with me?

Making Progress

Last evening I finished the chapter, and even typed up the longhand version. It's in draft stage, rather rough. In revision it should max out at about 4000 words.

Goal accomplished.

My reward: reading somebody else's novel.

I enjoyed it. A fun escape--and that's entire plot in a nutshell.

Since I seem to be on a wriring roll, this morning I outlined two upcoming chapters, and will start on one of them this afternoon.

Our walk this morning was glorious, it's a magnificent day--clear sky, cool air. Traditionally the day of departure is the best of the lot. In order to break the tradition, I'm staying on till tomorrow morning. I checked the amount of remaining dog food--enough for their dinner, and a bit more. (I may need to supplement the breakfast bowls with a small portion of cheerios.)

Yesterday, during the daily storm, three people were struck by lightning at the farm where I pick raspberries. Everyone's okay--even the pregnant lady--but what a terrible trauna.

I haven't been up to the Ridge to pick, but now I'm tempted--so long as there's no storm in the forecast. (Which lately, is never.) On lastnight's tv news--they interviewed the proprietor about the incident--the berries looked beautiful.

So much wordsmithing has depleted me. Fortunately, I needn't attempt to be entertaining today, thanks to this guy. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday morning

Although she's been coming here all summer long, Jewel just noticed--for the first time--the deer head trophy hanging high on the wall of the sitting room. Her astonishment is highly amusing.

Ruth is already wondering when we'll have our walk. (Sorry kid, not till I've written a William and Mary scene.)

Lola is contented with hanging out and sleeping. She's been sort of cranky and bossy with the young ones lately (at mealtimes) but this morning's feeding went smoothly. Ruth hardly notices the bad moods, she loves Lola so much. Jewel, on the other hand, drops to the floor in submission if the big dog give her a sharp look.

I'm progressing with the chapter.

Every morning, very early, I hear a loon's piercing cry--yet not a single sighting in our part of the Bay. Never have the loons been so elusive.

Yesterday, overhearing a loony conversation, I went outside to look and found a pair in the middle of the Bay. Took this hoto from the dock.

The Chap, having finshed up his conference in DC, was in Balitmore last night, where he attended a baseball game at Camden Yards. The Orioles were losing all night, managed to push it into extra innings, then pulled out a victory.

Right about now he's making his pilgrimage to the Baltimore Museum of Art to view some works by Alma-Tadema. He returns to the Lodge later today.

The big white boat should pass by at any moment.

I've decided I'm staying here till I run out of dog food, or till Tuesday morning. Whichever comes first.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bastille Day Night

Supper: Crèpes

Entertainment: fireworks on the other side of the Bay.

Music provided by: dj's on the Saturday night dinner/dance cruise as it does its turnaround in front of my dock

From the Cottagers

Two perfect days in a row...not a drop of rain.

When in our Lodge garage loading my vehicle to come up here, the hemlock smell was super-powerful though we hadn't had any recent storms. The theory I broached yesterday is disproved.

Brought a tub of flowers with me. I intended to fill several vases on arrival, but chose instead to throw together one big mixed bouquet.

The mix consists of: Queen Anne's lace, Shasta daisy, pink astilbe, white astilbe, pink mallow, white mallow, pink yarrow, perennial sweet-pea (solid mauve and the pinky-white hybrid,) lavender spikes, Cupani's orginal sweet-pea (17th century, violet and mauve, exquisitely scented), the last two Charles de Mills roses and the very last Tuscany rose.

This morning as I emailed far-away friends in France and the UK and Vermont (!) I listened to BBC4's Saturday Play, Called to Account, which could've been subtitled The Trial of Tony Blair, except that was already done as a Channel 4 television play. (I'd love to see it.) In the radio one, actors perform the "MPs, diplomats, policy wonks, lawyers and spooks who had earlier been examined by two rival barristers on whether or not Tony Blair could faces charges of aggression against Iraq."

In case anybody's yearning for the US version of Called to Account--contact your members of Congress.

Took the girls for a walk at noontime.

The posted speed limit on our very private road (most locals don't even know it exists) is 10 mph. I wouldn't want the news to get around, but as we start out Ruth inevitably exceeds that speed. I hope she doesn't get a citation. I suppose we're all culpable, because she sets the pace and the rest of us keep up as best we can.

To avoid weekenders (passers-by violate Lola's outsized notions of personal space and sometimes she barks) and their weekender dogs (Ruth and Jewel go berserk when they meet one), I altered our route a bit. We walked along a secluded snowmobile trail, which at this season is a lovely pine-needle carpeted pathway up a hillside, with big red arrow signs at intervals. Edged with poison ivy. I was never affected by poison ivy in my youth, but there are innumerable tales of adults who can say the same thing and learnt that their immunity didn't outlast their childhood. Wish I'd worn socks--some leaves might've brushed my feet. I keep waiting to feel an unfamiliar itch and sprout an ugly rash.

The girls weren't keen on the deviation, and felt we needed to walked farther, a little way towards the Point. The wife of the Other State Representative Who Lives in this Neighbourhood drove by.

We met a nice lady out walking--we know she's nice 'cause Lola didn't bark.

The young ones rushed her, seeking pats. She smiled and said very politely, "I wish I weren't allergic to dogs."

Immediately I reined them in, before they made contact.

She asked how old they were.

"Fourteen, and a pair of two-year olds."

"They're beautiful dogs."

Instead of saying, "I know," I thanked her, gratefully and graciously.

Nobody was in the mood to swim at the little beach, so we came home for lunch.

I brought a tin of crabmeat big enough to work my way through the entire "Crab" section of my ever-reliable All-Maine Seafood Cookbook.

For lunch I made an easy crabmeat-topped-with-cheese-on-toast.

It's meant to be brain food. I have to conquer a chapter today.

Lest it appear I've yet again deserted the Chap: he's been at a conference down in Washington, DC. Could I have gone with him? Of course, but my extreme familiarity with that city in summertime deterred me.

I need to write an entire chapter during this stay. Should be simple, as 75% of the plot developments, the location, and the characters involved are conveniently supplied by actual history. Only it's never as easy as I think it will be. Or want it to be.

Blaring from the Bose speakers today is the concert CD Alchemy. It sounds like Dire Straits have reunited to give a live performance in my sitting room. I can't explain how this will help me write scenes set at The Hague in February of 1685...but somehow it will.

(FYI: Mark has a new album due in September.)

i made it through a post without any dog, mountain, lake, sunset, sailboat, or duck pictures. Just flowers and food--hardly unique.

Hmmm. Isn't my foot feeling itchy?

Guess not. It's gone all tingly cause it's fallen asleep.

But wait--now my palms are itching. My face, too.

I'm coming down with a psychosomatic case of poison ivy.

Maybe the remedy is a swim in the lake. Provided, of course, that I meet my page count goal.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer Scents

On sale in all the tourist shops and traditional country stores around New Hampshire and Maine (probably Vermont, too--I spend very little time there), you'll find for sale these delightful miniature canvas or linen pillows. Because they're stuffed with hemlock needles they smell wonderful, and enable the visitor to carry home the evocative aroma of the North woods--which lasts forever.

I bought mine years ago and can vouch that the scent is everlasting.

For the past several days, every time I step out of the Lodge, I'm nearly knocked over by that wonderful smell. I don't think I've ever noticed it to this extent. Here's my theory: the violent rains in the past week bruised the young hemlock needles and released the scent in a more powerful way. Or maybe it happens every year, and I forget. The aroma hits me whether I'm on the deck, or the screen porch, in the front gardens or the backyard. I think it's not quite as strong today as it has been--we haven't had rain in the past 24 hours, which might corroborate my theory about the cause.

Rose of the Day: Tuscany

Another one on the list of major favourites. And yes, another of my treasured gallicas. It is assumed to be extremely old, possibly ancient. The colour is like burgundy wine, it's very fragrant, it sprawls and, at peak bloom time, becomes almost prostrate.

Like it's cousin Rosa Mundi, it's featured in the cover painting for my "rosy" novel, and pops up in the book.

It has bloomed itself out. Today I picked the final blossom.

My three four-legged companions and I are off to the cottage on the Big Lake--where the hemlocks also smell very pleasant.

You know what that means...too many photos of mountains, water, canines, and waterfowl. I'll try to restrain myself!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Andrew Wyeth turns 90 today.

I've known his work all my life. And his father's work--in our household were lots of classic children's books with N.C. Wyeth illustrations. And his son Jamie's work.

As an adult, I've viewed Wyeth's work in the museums of the world. And attended special exhibitions from Rockland, Maine to Manchester, New Hampshire to Madison, Georgia.

He's by no means my favourite artist. But his artistry fascinates me.

Christina's World, his iconic painting, has the contradictory capacity to depress and inspire me.

When we toured the site of this painting, I couldn't resist a re-creation.

To our family, the Olson House (technically the Hathorn-Olson House) is more than a building in a famous painting.

My husband can boast a distant (but to us, meaningful) connection to the location. The original settlers on the property were Hathornes from Danvers/Salem, Massachusetts. (Though they apparently lost that "e" on their voyage Down East). These Hathorns would have been blood relatives to the Chap--though not ancestors. Back in the 17th century, and subsequently, Hathornes and Porters married each other.

Historical note: The Porters and Hathornes were never directly targeted in the Witch Trials that occurred in Salem Village, now Danvers. They were perhaps protected and insulated by their wealth and property, but surely it didn't hurt that John Hathorne, the "hanging judge," was an in-law! Brothers Israel Porter and Joseph Porter must've maintained a positive relationship with the magisterial brother of their Hathorne wives, sisters Anna and Elizabeth.

The Porters continued living in Salem--till the 1960's.

The adventurous group of Hathorns that migrated to Mid-Coast Maine to build the house that Christina's World later made famous weren't the only ones who changed the spelling of their name. Nathaniel, the Great American Author, stuck a "w" in it to make it Hawthorne.

To the Great American Artist, Andrew Wyeth, happy 90th birthday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hardly Working

Returned to the Lodge yesterday, fleeing the storms at the Big Lake and arriving in time for worse storms at the little lake.

Not long ago I mentioned doing some paid consulting for an adult learning organisation. Since then, one of their staff departed. Last week the director asked whether I'd consider temporarily filling the gap, on a very part-time basis. The compensation she offered was decent. Not what I could command out in the real world but I've never been keen on real world work. Anyway, it's a zillion times more than a legislator earns (nobody makes less $$$ than we do). And the paycheck would come bi-weekly. Unlike royalty checks which come semi-annually.

Because the remaining 2 staff are so simpatico, and their office (located within a small college) is a convenient 25 minutes away, and I wholeheartedly support their mission, and I do so much volunteering (giving it away for free) that the hourly rate seems perfectly reasonable, and I decide when and how much I work, I agreed to the proposition.

Today was my very first day, I was there four and a half hours. I have an office. With a computer. Plus a phone. And a window.

There wasn't much orientation required, I basically walked in and started performing assigned tasks. I proofed copy for the fall term's course catalogue, helped (I hope) with class scheduling, phoned some instructors to see if they were willing to have their class days shifted, found out what was inside my desk drawers, and got up to speed on the computer network.

Tomorrow I'll be doing some assessment of the website and eventually updating or otherwise tweaking content.

I'm guessing I'll probably be in the office a couple of times a week. I can still run away to the Big Lake when I need to shut away the world and write.

Last night we endured an especially fierce electrical storm. The rain came so hard and fast the satellite dish lost the feed, off and on--just as we were watching our new favourite show It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet.

(Complaint Corner: Dear Animal Planet, Discovery, et al: Please stop dubbing the narration of UK-produced programming with an American voice. It's ridiculous, when the population in the reality-tv show is British, using their own regional accents, to have a Yank doing the voice-over. Trust me, American viewers can handle Received Pronounciation--or rather, Estuary English, which has overtaken RP.)

Before we went to bed, I could hear the loon on the little lake calling--must've been scared out there, with all the commotion.

We did not go unscathed. The umbrella on the deck table blew up and off and one entire side was busted. Essentially, it's destroyed. And I'm thrilled, because it was faded and one spoke was sort of bent and it definitely wanted replacing and now I can justify it and umbrellas are on sale all over the place. Also, a pot holding a staked tomato plant was blown down from the deck rail--which is very, very high. This morning I found the pot sitting way down on the ground, upright, plant intact and attached to its stake, and the embryonic green fruit was perfectly fine. Feeling very lucky.

The roses and perennials got bashed a bit. They'll get another bashing tonight...I hear the thunder already. We're stuck in a pattern.

Picked a ton of snow peas for supper. Time to top and tail them, before steaming.

Rose of the Day:

Charles de Mills, a splendid gallica of rich colouring with tightly furled and swirled petals. Its breeder is unknown, it appeared sometime before 1885.

I adore this rose. Photographs don't begin to do it justice.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Daily Show

At the end of every day we assemble on the hillside:


and Ruth,

and Jewel,

to watch the show.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Just Ducky

During the Friday thunderstorm (we seem to have one every afternoon), the flock of little ducks got caught in the gale. (They're on either side of the flagpole.)

When the sunshine returned, a different flock of ducks decided to dry out on our dock.

So, the girls and I headed down the hillside to chase them off.

They jumped into the lake and swam away. Just at that moment, the flock of little ducks passed by--altogether, I counted nineteen ducks. The large ones soon returned, so we dashed outdoors to warn them off again.

Now, whenever we leave the cottage, the girls examine the dock, eager for another duck chase.

The Chap arrived with Lola yesterday, bringing along a computer keyboard because the one here had died--curtailing my progress on the novel.

Saturday was a pleasant, humid yet cool and damp. We had a lovely walk, cooked Chicken Makhni (Butter Chicken)) with Naan bread for dinner, read books and newspapers and watched Live Earth all day and night when we weren't doing other things.

Today the mountain across the lake was wearing a cloud for a hat. It has been very grey and damp, with occasional drizzle.

Much of the morning we were glued to the telly--watching the awesome men's singles final from Wimbledon. Then our Road Association held its annual meeting at our next-door neighbours'. The Chap represented the family during the business portion. I closed the dogs up in the kitchen and went over for refreshments and socialising.

The Chap and Lola left a little while ago.

Ruth and Jewel are napping after a busy day.

Haven't seen any ducks on our dock all day--perhaps they've got the message. A loon is out there calling quite loudly. I wonder if it's the juvenile one we all watched during our morning walk to the Point?

Back to the manuscript. I'm loving this brand-new keyboard--an extra we had lying round the Lodge, never before used.

Friday, July 06, 2007

By the Lakeshore

Early evening on the Big Lake.

And early morning.

We arrived at midday yesterday--just us young chicks, the Chap and Lola remained at the Lodge. During our first walk, which occurred immediately (Ruth insists upon it) we saw the Big White boat pass by the Point--very near the shore, its horn blaring a greeting. We reached the cottage in time to see it float past our own dock. It returned around 5 p.m.

Got a lot of writing done yesterday afternoon and evening.

This morning I was awake at 5:45, thanks to the quacking ducks, screeching crows, shrieking phoebes--the usual chorus, minus the loon.

Because it's pleasantly cool and hazily sunny (as evidenced by photo above), I startled Ruth and Jewel by heading out for our walk before 8 a.m. There may be rain later in the day. It was rush hour, judging from the traffic, although that's a relative term around here. My acquaintance from the State House was headed off to work, but as I reminded him, it's nearly the weekend...and a shortened week at that.

Along the way home I picked up this interesting rock--shale, I think--with layers.

My rock was a nicer souvenir than the dead mole Jewel found lying among the leaves. The small grey body was intact, it looked as though it was sleeping. Moles are such sweet little creatures.

May this day be as productive as yesterday!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

All here at the Lodge wish American visitors a very happy and festive July 4th!

On Jewel's first dressing-up holiday she enjoys her patriotic attire.

Today I must disregard the fact that certain ancestors of mine were fighting on the British side in the Revolutionary War. To be sure, others were revolutionaries.

One New England tradition is to eat salmon and peas on the 4th, and that's what we usually do. Tonight, the salmon will be accompanied by shrimp, couscous, and snow peas/Chinese pea pods from our garden.

Rose of the Day: New Dawn, the extremely popular and reliable climber. The flower is a lovely pale pink and the leaves are exceptionally glossy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Distinguished Gathering

Returned to the Lodge, a haven of roses and birdsong, yesterday afternoon. Later we attended a political event, a private party for my buddy Senator Barack Obama. It took place at the lovely home of a yogurt mogul. I hadn't met him, but I've encountered his wife, a writer.

Plenty of celebrities in the crowd. Some of them friends or acquaintances of ours. Our U.S. Congressmen. Two candidates for the U.S. Senate. Several State Senators. A handful of State Representatives. Our world-famous bishop. Local celebs--political talk show hosts, former gubernatorial candidates. And at least one member of the national media, Gwen Ifill of PBS.

Also present, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, his wife, and daughter.

Little Olivia Burns gets a shout-out from our host.

The candidate addresses the crowd.

The refreshments were wonderful. We did more schmoozing than dining, so failed to score the Stonyfield ice cream everyone was raving about.

After the Senator and some of the uber-celebs withdrew for a private confab, I went all fan-girl over Gwen Ifill.

It was altogether a lovely evening--perfect weather, interesting group, plenty of wine and beer, very enthusiastic and energetic young campaign staffers. And a most impressive candidate.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

In and On the Lake

Yesterday afternoon we walked to the Point and paused at the little beach so the dogs could go swimming.

Ruth and Lola were the first to take the plunge.

Ruth strikes out on her own, dog paddling into the deep.

After mostly standing about, her feet firmly planted on the sandy bottom while she keenly observed kids on a nearby dock, Jewel tries swimming.

Later in the afternoon, at our own dock, a large flock of young ducks show us their swimming skills, with mother duck bringing up the rear.

It was a blustery afternoon on our dock. Although the Chap and I were properly attired for swimming, we didn't. Not intentionally--I did go into the lake to retrieve an unoccupied chair that blew away. After the wind lifted one of the umbrellas off its base (carrying it behind the boat house) we repaired to the shelter and calm of the porch.

As is usual on Saturday nights, the big white boat made its dinner dance cruise down the Bay, turning around in front of our dock. Here it is heading back up the Bay.

This morning it returned on schedule, at 5 minutes past 11:00, the first of two trips past our house. Rather, four, if you count both southward and northward journeys.

The Chap is having a birthday.