"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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Girls & The Boys

As nature diarist, and blogger I apologise for having lapsed. (Well, I suppose Walter's photo counts!)

The painted turtles have crossed the road from the little lake to dig nests and lay eggs on our property...probably since the dawn of time. I've been here to watch them for 19 years. Our first girl arrived today. May 30 is one of the commonest dates for the first egg-laying of the season. In earlier years it was mid-June. Global warming, anyone?

Now for the boys. Recent visitors at the feeders. I think the feeders will remain after the Lodge is listed, and after we move to the new place. I can buy new feeders to tempt the birds living over there. Personally, I think chaps like this would tempt someone to buy this house. Feeders included!

And here are my four-legged girls. The careful sifting of all our personal possessions resulted in the unearthing of their all-time favourite toy. So much a fave that it has to be taken away from them before they destroy it.

Ruth is extremely proprietary...

...so I gave Jewel a chance to enjoy it.

More from the House of Boxes as things proceed. And time permits!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back to the Big Lake

After an intense weekend of real estate activity (arranging for the Lodge to be listed), a huge celebration (our parish's 150th anniversary, with the bishop's visitation, reception, and luncheon), a farewell dinner (our dear friend the canon/priest/potter is soon relocating his ministry to Colorado), and a very special reunion with our Friend Formerly From the North Country (now living in Northern California) who was in the area for her college reunion, I've sought refuge at the lake cottage for much needed relaxation.

I needed some of this....

...and less of this.

We had packers from our moving company come last week to box up my library/office--research books and favourite fiction. And I spent last week packing china, porcelain, crystal, silver, rose bushes (don't ask!), and more.

I'm spending my 2 days, 3 nights here in reading, knitting, walking Ruth and Jewel, planning my new rose and perennial gardens, and plotting where the furniture will go in the new house. Oh, and feeding worms to my wild pet fish Walter, who is swimming down at our dock, waiting for Mrs. Walter to come and lay eggs.

Monday, May 06, 2013

May Flowers...and More

It is evident that blogging is not my highest priority at present. I think about it a lot but never find time to do anything about it.

We've made a few visits to the new house--for the necessary things like home inspection (passed!), then meetings with flooring and carpet and landscaping and countertop chaps and carpenter (custom bookcases!)who have measured and are providing estimates and are helping us plan installations. And last week I did a walk-through with our painter, who is female, while the appraiser did his job (passed!) We've made all our choices and materials are ordered, with the exception of the paint as we continue to mull colour. This is the granite we'll have in the kitchen:

Whenever I'm in town for meetings, I drive past the house to see how it's changing as the season advances. Are the rhododendrons blooming? How big are the hosta leaves? Where do the trees make shade patterns now that they're leafing out?

Meanwhile at the Lodge, spring is gloriously colourful. The weather has been sunny and warm, many of the trees now have leaves. The forsythia is flowering:

The daffodils have faded now, the tulips are beginning to come into their own. My snakeshead fritillary gives me joy.

And this little primrose, which came to me in a little pot on my birthday last year, 14 months ago, and is now a garden star.

Not far from where it blooms is the long-time dwelling of my friend the Toad. I'm going to miss him greatly, but perhaps there's a new friend waiting for me in Concord.

I probably won't see many of these after we're living in the city...

But I hope, with the right feeders and seed, to attract the cousins of my rose-breasted grosbeaks...

...and the purple finches and goldfinches and cardinal and chickadees and blue jays and juncoes and tufted titmice and nuthatches and hummingbirds (not yet arrived) and orioles (I eagerly watch for their return!) That male grosbeak turned up today. Last year he arrived on the 4th of May, the year before on the 5th of May. I have 19 years' worth of records. Whether or not the Lodge's next owners will be birders remains to be seen. I certainly hope so, for the sake of my feathered friends.

Yesterday we opened up the lake cottage, but have no idea how much time we'll be spending there this spring, or even in summer. Due to a crises in turning on the water system (leaking intake pipe, busted valve down in the boathouse), it wasn't an option this week, and that's all right because I've got much to accomplish. I'm hoping to make enough good progress on packing this week that I can have a couple of days beside the Big Lake next week.

I look forward to getting the kayak out of the kitchen and into the water!

In this limbo period between planning the move and actually moving, I find myself thinking a lot about writing. I take some time every day to read, which often inspires the desire to write. I have two very different projects that require attention, finishing a manuscript and resuming digital conversion of backlist titles. My only opportunities to work on one or the other will only occur at the Lake. Here at the Lodge, packing up our possessions--or weeding them out to be given away to charities--is a far higher priority! And in its own particular way, a very creative enterprise!